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a I E) RA FLY 

OF THE 
U N IVLRSITY 
Of ILLINOIS 

I sag) 



^ \^. ^\K 



•.-.'? 






THE CROPPY. 

VOL. III. 



LONDON : 

PniNTEI* BY S. AND R. BENTI/EY, 

Dorset Street, Fleet Street. 



THE CROPPY 



A TALE OF 1798. 



THE AUTHORS OF 

"THE O'HARA TALES," "THE NOWLANS," 
AND "THE BOYNE WATER." 



The uncivil kernes of Ireland are in arms. 

SECOND PAST OF KING HENBT VI. 



IN THREE VOLUMES. 
VOL. III. 

LONDON: 

HENRY COLBURN, NEW BURLINGTON STREET. 

1828. 



ERRATA. 

Page 

33 line 2, for Kane, read Kane's. 
75 — 14, for torturer's, read torturers. 
148 — '2; for yielding, read trembling. 
206 — 10, for last read fair. 
261 — 19, /or pulled read pull. 
265 lines 7 and 8, supply a comma after however, and dele the comma after 

dangerous. 
315 line 19,/or him, read you. 






THE CROPPY; 

A TALE OF 1798. 



CHAPTER I. 

While some of the meaner of the enlarged 
captives flung up their hats and mingled with 
their liberators, and while others of more con- 
sideration were hailed with frantic greetings, 
and clamorously appointed to the dignity of 
leaders. Sir William, after the first effusion of 
his own wild joy, seemed to become equally in- 
sensible to the yells that still pealed around him, 
and to the furious action by which, exuberant at 
all times as is the impassioned gesticulation of 
the Irish peasant, the victors manifested their 
sense of continued success. 

Having crossed the threshold of his prison, 
he stood aside, his back leaning against its wall, 

VOL. in. B 



THE CROPPY. 



a moody and uninterested man amidst the ex- 
ultation of thousands, and solely self-occupied 
in endeavouring to shape out some course by 
which his enfranchisement might be made ser- 
viceable to his private views. Hasty accounts, 
interchanged between his late fellow-prisoners 
and their liberators, of yesterday's proceedings; 
rapid allusions to the state of the town, to the 
sudden flight of its garrison, and some of its 
inhabitants, towards Ross, and of others towards 
the ships in the harbour ; all this was lost upon 
his ear. One only sentence, uttered by a friend- 
ly citizen, raised his attention. The man spoke 
of Sir Thomas Hartley's death, and went on to 
mention that, in the course of the day, his car- 
riage had arrived in Wexford, strongly guarded 
by a body of yeomen, and that, at the door of 
a particular house, a lady, closely veiled and 
cloaked, had descended from it. Sir Wilham 
sprang to the speaker, seized his arm, pulled 
him to himself, learned the name of the pro- 
prietor of the house spoken of, and then, no 
longer inactive, he pushed through the throng, 
one sole object engaging his mind. 

To the wild confusion around he still remain- 
ed indifferent. If, during his furious progress 
through the obstructed streets, a door was bat- 
tered in, and a faint shriek succeeded to the 



THE CBOPPY. S 

crash, he heard or regarded it not. Nay, when 
a miserable fugitive, winged by the fear of a 
shocking death, had gained some advance of his 
pursuers, flung himself at Sir WiUiam's feet, 
and with upturned features of supplicating de- 
spair, and burning, starting eyes, piteously 
claimed his protection — he but stopped to un- 
loose from his knees the wretch's grasping 
hands — to hurl him to his executioners, mut- 
tering — '^Talbot, were it you?" — and tlien he 
pursued his way. 

But a more serious incident, in which, merely 
to break down impediments to his own business, 
he was obliged to bear a part, caused farther 
interruption to his career. 

The Insurgents had stipulated that Hfe and 
property should be spared, provided the arms, 
ammunition, and accoutrements of the garrison, 
were left behind. But the garrison abandoned 
the town — so precipitately as, in many instances, 
to abandon, at the same time, their wives and 
children — before even the return, from the be- 
siegers, of their own envoys ; and consequently 
they did not comply with terms which they 
would not tarry to learn. The invading throng, 
disappointed of the expected spoils, which, 
above all others, they valued, pronounced, as 
B 2 



4) THE CROPPY. 

impetuously as their foes had fled before them, 
that faith was broken towards the Wexford 
army of Hberty ; and the black passions of the 
multitude, that in a degree had been tamed 
by the pride of conscious predominance, and 
by exhortations from the leaders to uphold, 
in its dignity, the high character of conquerors, 
began, like the first tossing of the waters be- 
neath the scourge of the tempest, to lash each 
other with a fury which threatened fearful re- 
taliation. 

A street, through which Sir William must 
necessarily pass, w^as densely blocked up by 
the greater number of the wrathful concourse; 
and, as he joined their outskirts, they had just 
evinced omens of this dangerous mood, when 
three or four leaders, headed by Father Ge- 
neral Rourke, springing into laudable energy, 
called on him to assist in allaying the rising 
gust, that they well knew, if once fully let 
loose, it would be as difficult to conciliate as 
the matured violence of the ocean-rage, to 
which we have likened its symptoms. 

Chiefly for the purpose of scattering the 
throng, through whose wedged array he could 
not hope to penetrate, Sir William answered 
the claim made upon him, and followed Rourke 
into the midst of the howling people, exerting 



THE CROPPr. O 

himself, as all the other leaders did, to produce 
the much-desired result ; but by none of their 
commanders were the multitude ^o effectually 
swayed as by the clerical captain, as, with the 
accost of rude, authoritative intrepidity, he rode 
boldly amongst them — sparing, when advice 
and explanation failed, neither spiritual ana- 
thema, nor more substantial blows; all quailed 
beneath his voice or arm : and Wexford, on 
the point of destruction, was saved. After- 
wards, indeed, some houses, deserted, closed up, 
and therefore showing a face of inhospitality, 
were broken open and pillaged ; and also some 
belonging to persons who had been marked down 
as notorious enemies to the Insurgent cause. 
A few lives were sacrificed too to individual hate 
or ferocity, which nothing could control ; but, 
although upon every side reigned utter turbu 
lence, injury to property or life was partial, 
and by no means ensued to the extent that 
might be feared from a host of revengeful men, 
masters over all, and armed with the full 
power to do mischief. And here, let us add 
a fact, which, in the estimation of every candid 
inquirer into human nature, must throw a re- 
deeming ray of grace around the blackest crimes 
perpetrated in hasty vengeance by the Irish 
Insurgents of 1798. During their moments of 



O THE CROPPY. 

maddest licentiousness, neither in the town or 
county of Wexford, nor in any other town or 
county over which insurrection spread its blaze, 
occasionally destroying as it listed, was female 
honour once outraged ; or, excepting a single 
peculiar and fearful instance, female blood shed ! 

But, after Sir William's escape through the 
dispersing throng, the house to which he forced 
his way, proved to be one of those marked out 
for destruction, as belonging to a yeoman cap- 
tain, who had been distinguished for '* ac- 
tivity," as it was called, '' previous to the ris- 
ing." And, to add to his fears at this intelli- 
gence, he farther learned, ere he could scramble 
past the threshold, that, surely anticipating the 
fate which awaited him, its proprietor, like the 
innkeeper at Enniscorthy, had fled from Wex- 
ford before the arrival of the Insurgents, and 
left all the females of his family to the mercy 
of those he most dreaded. 

" An' they Ve before you, in the house, if you 
want 'em, Ginerel," added his informant. 

Through an astounding jumble of crash and 
vociferation in the lower part of the house. Sir 
William sprang up-stairs, and burst his way 
into the principal room. Here was but a con- 
tinuation of the scene he had escaped from 



THE CHOPPY. 7 

below. Windows were shattered, and furni- 
ture was dashed to pieces and flung out through 
them into the street ; and mingled with the 
shout of fury came the shout of merriment : 
the wildest act of destruction, in accordance 
with the hidden character of the Irish peasant, 
often producing the heartiest laugh : — hidden 
we have called that character, and it is so ; — 
its minor traits, indeed, such as appear, or are 
put forward, in every-day intercourse, any one 
may catch ; but owing to a long habit of ab- 
straction, or rather banishment from all inter- 
change of social thought or feeling with those 
ranking above him, the real moral elements 
that form every kind of character — the spring- 
ings of the heart, and the mental combinations, 
no matter how rude, which end in impulse — 
those secrets of his inner heart, the Irish pea- 
sant keeps concealed to the present hour, as 
well from the oppressors he hates, as from tlie 
friends who, if they knew him better, could 
better serve him. 

Sir William's eye lighted on a man he had 
before seen in almost a similar situation. It 
was no other than the individual who had sold 
him his own miniature and his bride's gloves and 
wedding-ring, in the inn at Enniscorthy ; and still 



THE CHOPPY 



this person seemed to be the presiding genius of 
discovery in the work of pillage With a heavy 
hammer he battered at a chest of drawers ; and 
ere, one by one, he tossed out the contents of 
each drawer to his crowding followers, he might 
be observed to run his own hand, with much 
stealthy dexterity, through the valuable ar- 
ticles, and sometimes to steal it, unseen, to his 
pocket. 

" Sparables for the cratures o** women, boys !" 
he said, emptying a drawer-full of elegant 
finery upon the floor; there was a laughing 
strife for shares of the prize, and then the draw- 
er was shivered to pieces, and cast into the street. 

" An"* here — the poor Capt'n makes shirts for 
Croppies, boys," flinging down another, stuffed 
with the useful matters he had mentioned. 

Sir William darted upon him, and clutched 
him tight. 

" Asy, now, asy, neighbour V cried the 
fellow. 

" How have you disposed of the ladies of 
this house, rascal ?" 

** Pike the life out o' the Orangeman !" was 
the cry around, as the crowd deemed they saw 
their temporary leader violently assaulted by an 
enemy. 



THE CROPPY. y 

^* I 'm not Orange, friends — I fought for you 
at Enniscorthy," said Sir William. 

" Hould off — hould off! — his honour spakes 
the truth," expostulated the man. '' Many 's 
the one I hard say id — an' I know him to-day 
though I didn't know him yestherday." 

The appeal produced peace, and the speaker 
resumed, quietly turning to his captor, who still 
held him secure — '^ An' is id about the poor 
ladies your honour is axin ?" 

'^ Yes, yes ! Where are they ? — Safe — safe 
— or I will shoot you where you stand ''' 

" Oh, then, if that 's all, safe enough they 
are ; — only they were runnin' here an' there ; 
an' just to keep 'em out o'harum, I Ve put 'em 
snug an' cozy into one crib together." 

" What do you mean, fellow ? — Explain, this 
instant !" 

'^ Asy, now, your honour ; don't be too frap- 
tious, all out, wid a body ; — you were free 
enough in Enniscorthy, wid your mokuses, 
only for a lady's glove, an' a lady's ring ; an' 
will you give nothin' at all to the boy that 
maybe 'ill help you to the weeny hand, an' the 
weeny finger, that wears the both ?" 

Sir WiUiam almost emptied his purse into 
the horny palm of the mercenary knight, — add- 
B 5 



10 THE CRorrr. 

iiig, that if he found himself trifled with, he 
would take signal vengeance. 

" Oh, never fear ; we '11 gi"* you pick an' 
choose of all in the house, at laste : come, 
your honour, I ''ll bring you to the very dour 
o' the cage." 

" Lead on. Sir, I '11 follow you — ay, to tlie 
world's end, if you deceive me." 

" Well, your honour, sure it'll only be ketch 
him who can, betuxt us."" 

But Sir WilUam's doubts were unnecessary : 
bis guide had stated but the facts. Having 
ascertained, with yells of baffled revenge, the 
timely flight of the yeoman captain, the Insur- 
gents, only venting their rage upon his property, 
had driven the ladies of the house into a garret 
room, and while the work of plunder and de- 
vastation went on below, there locked them in, 
unmolested at their hands, save by the party 
execrations which they would have lavished upon 
Saint Bridget, or any other female saint in the 
calendar, if she or any one of them were an 
Orangewoman. 

The man unlocked and flung the door open, 
and with a giggling laugh hastily returned to 
a scene of more interest. Sir William saw 
four females in the room, who, at his appear- 



THE CROPPY. 11 

ance, started from trembling terror into horrid 
despair : his eye scanned the group ; one 
seemed the iady of the house ; two others, her 
daughters ; and the fourth was not his wife, but, 
strange enough to relate, Miss Alicia Hartley. 

The palHd faces, the clasped hands, the 
humbled postures, and the beseeching eyes of 
the three first-mentioned ladies, conveyed no 
meaning to Sir WilHam Judkin. His wife did 
not appear — he comprehended nothing else. 

As he stood motionless at the door, Miss 
Alicia, seated on the floor, at one side, and 
supporting her back against the wall, seemingly 
in an exhausted state, slowly recognized him 
and pronounced his name. He sprang to her. 

*^ Where is our Eliza, dear madam ? — where 
is she ?" growing impatient of the old lady's 
tearful silence, as he knelt before her. 

" Oh, Sir William !" answered the feeble 
Miss Alicia, '* I wish I could inform you !'^ 

^* And you cannot, madam !" 

^' Alas! no ; — if I could — kneeling, as you do, 
before me, so like one now no more '' 

' ' Absurd, madam ! — surely this at least you can 
answer — where did you part from her ? — when.?'* 

*^ I have not seen my poor child since about 
ten o'clock yester evening." 



12 THE CROPPY, 

*^ Eternal powers !" Sir William sprang to 
his feet. '^ How ? — where ? — in what manner 
were you separated ?— and could you leave her 
side, Miss Alicia Hartley ? could you leave her 
unprotected ? — you must account with me, 
madam, why you have done this !" — his eyes 
turned in rage even upon the helpless object 
stretched beneath them. 

^' Heaven can witness," answered the trem- 
bling old lady, in bitter anguish, '* I am suf- 
ficiently wretched, without the additional mi- 
sery of your anger, Sir William : it is not ne- 
cessary, indeed it is not, to overwhelm me. 
Grant me fortitude, O my God ! to bear my 
sufferings as a Christian should !" 

" But your answer, madam !'' 

" I will, I will. Sir William — do not look 
so fiercely on me, and I will answer you ; as 
well, at least, as my shattered and distracted 
recollection enables me : — and oh ! dismal, bleak, 
and pitiful, are now my recollections of all the 
past. Oh, my poor brother ! — oh, Thomas, 
Thomas ! — The Lord strengthen me ! the Lord 
pity me !"*' and she relapsed into a feeble 
paroxysm of weeping, from which Sir William 
at last refrained to rouse her. 

"But fina'ily, in broken words, half of sorrow- 



THE CROPPY. 13 

ful ejaculation, and of continued prayers to 
Heaven for the strength she was but too con- 
scious of not possessing, Miss Alicia began 
to recount the occurrences of the previous 
night. 

Some time after she and her niece arrived 
in Enniscorthy, they were weeping together, 
and starting at every sound, in expectation of 
the arrival of a messenger dispatched to gather 
tidings of the proceedings at the castle, when 
a tall woman entered the apartment. 

" A tall woman, madam I — did you remark 
her features?" 

" No ; they were either hidden from me, 
or else my dim eyes could not observe them 
at the distance at which she stood."" 

'' Well, madam r 

^^ This unannounced visitant requested a 
private interview with Miss Hartley, who 
seemed willing to grant it, and I was excluded 
from their conference. They spoke together 
a considerable time. At her departure I found 
our Eliza much agitated by some new feelings ; 
she told me that the woman had been the 
bearer of a letter from her father." 

" From her father, Miss AUcia .?" 

^^ Alas ! yes ; — and though, at the moment, 



14 THE CROPPY. 

this allayed my doubts and fears, I have since 
but too truly become aware that the alleged 
letter must have been a forgery ; for scarce 
did I arrive in this house, when the people in- 
formed me that, at the time it was said to have 
been written, my poor brother was — was not 
alive ta write it." 

Sir William underwent the test of a fresh fit 
of weeping. 

'^ The woman also pretended to bear to my 
dear child a letter from you, Sir WiUiam." 

*^ Great powers, madam !" 

*^ Though I need not ask you if this, too, was 
not a base forgery." 

'' I certainly did send her a note, madam, 
but as certainly not by such a messenger ; the 
keeper of Enniscorthy prison promised, for a 
bribe, to forward it" 

^' Well, this note came to our Eliza's hand — 
if, indeed, it was the same you sent — " 

'^ Mine was written with a pencil." 

^^ And so was this, for I read it." 

The old lady continued to say that the con- 
tents of the other letter were withheld from her 
by Eliza ; that, some time after, overcome by 
grief and feebleness, she sank into a slumber. 



THE CROPPY. 15 

upon awaking from which, her niece did not 
appear, nor had Miss Alicia since heard of 
her. 

With respect to her own appearance in Wex- 
ford, she proceeded to say, that, after a night 
spent in vain inquiries and laments, the person 
to whom she ascribed all her misfortunes abrupt- 
ly presented himself before her ; that, not able 
to speak her fear or horror of him, she fainted 
away; that, regaining her senses, she found 
herself in the family carriage, rapidly driven 
along, she knew not whither, and closely guard- 
ed by yeomen ; that, entering Wexford, the 
vehicle stopped at the door of the house in 
which she at present was ; that the gentleman 
and lady of the house received her kindly, as a 
charge they had expected ; that, immediately on 
her arrival amongst them, she had been compelled 
to take to her bed ; whence, an hour ago, the 
invasion of the cruel rebels rendered her up- 
rise a matter of necessity. 

No farther information could Sir William ob- 
tain from the shocked and enfeebled old lady ; 
but this, though not enough in one sense, was 
too much in another. If he had previously en- 
tertained any doubt as to the present position 



16 THE c:roppv. 

of his bride, he now became at least certahi 
that she must be sought only at the hands of 
Talbot. 

Indifferent to Miss Alicia's feeble cries for 
protection, he rushed out of the house, into the 
still crowded and uproarious street ; he be- 
came conscious of a confused stupor of brain, 
and his first wish was to shun the riot and the 
throngs around him, and escape for a moment 
to some silent spot, where, flinging himself on 
the earth, in the open, free air, his mind might 
grow cool enough to arm him with deliberate 
thought and purpose. 

As yet, while he boldly pushed through all 
the obstruction in the crowded streets, he only 
felt a return, in increased force, of the impulse 
before felt, to seek out Talbot in the very face 
of peril and death, clutch him by the throat, 
demand his wife, and then — kill him, and tread 
upon him. Nor did this seem difficult to the 
feverish mind of the young Baronet. He would 
be more cunning and wary than he had before 
been. He would disguise his features ; he 
would assume a yeoman's uniform — thus he 
might easily gain access to Talbot's haunts — 
and, once found — touched — he would dras him 
into some private place, and then — he actually 



THE CROPPY. 17 

bounded at his own fancied picture of the en- 
counter. 

Absorbed by the greedy longing for his re- 
venge, he continued to hurry on, when some 
one caught him by the arm. Fiercely turning 
to resent the interruption, he recognized Father 
Rourke. The face of the reverend warrior, 
except where perspiration had forced a distinct 
way, was fearfully blotched and stained ; his 
lips were parched ; his voice sounded hoarse 
and exhausted, and altogether he appeared as a 
man who had undergone extreme toil, but yet 
whose constitution would not yield to toil of the 
severest kind. 

*' AVhither so fast, my young soldier ?" 

" You know already. Sir ! — to seek out a 
traitor-villain, Talbot ! to seek and find him, 
if he be on the surface of the earth T' — and it 
seemed, as if by this desperate expression of 
his purpose, or rather of his impulse, he had 
fixed himself in his wild resolve. 

^^ You have not yet got back the poor little 
wife from him, then ?" 

Sir William grinned and stamped his reply. 

*^ Well ; suppose I can direct you where to 
meet him at least ?" 

" Is he in the town ! — secured !" 



18 THE CROPPY. 

^'No; yet in tlie hands of those who will 
make him answer your questions : for, if my eye 
did not deceive me, I saw him, upon our way to 
Wexford, taken prisoner, at the head of a small 
number of his poor yeomen, and marched to our 
stationary camp on Vinegar Hill/"' 

'^ You are sure, Sir ?" 

^' Not downright positive, so as to make oath 
of the thing ; but the prisoner certainly was a 
yeoman officer, in the uniform of his corps, and 
Talbot it appeared to me." 

'' Bless you, bless you, good friend ! I will 
set off after him this moment." 

*^ Had you not better take some rest and re- 
freshment, before you go ?^' 

" Rest and refreshment ! with this before me 
to do.? — Where shall I find a horse, Father 
Rourke .?" 

" By the life, man, as I tould you before, I 
am General Rourke now." 

*^ Well — General Rourke — but can you assist 
me to a horse ?" 

*^ Why, yes, I think I can ; or sure you may 
easily assist yourself: few stables in Wexford 
but are open to your pick and choose, I believe." 

" Good-day, then — " 

" Oh, a good-day to you, lad," replied the 



THE CROPPY. 19 

clerical hero, gazing in some wonder after Sir 
William, as, at the hint of his honest friend, 
he proceeded to possess himself of a steed by 
means which, under other circumstances, might 
have been termed horse-stealing. — '^ A pair of 
bright eyes for your paathriotism, after all !" 
continued General Rourke. 



20 THE CaOPPY. 



CHAPTER II. 

What Father Rourke has just said, as well 
as some former remarks we have ourselves 
made, will lead the reader to expect the follow- 
ing information. 

After the great mass of the Insurgents aban- 
doned their position on Vinegar Hill, in advance 
upon Wexford — which, as we have seen, was 
yielded to them without a struggle — still a con- 
siderable number, attached to their cause, re- 
mained on the rocky eminence, ostensibly as a 
garrison to guard the conquered town below, 
but really to shun the chance of open fighting, 
or else to gratify a malignant nature. We 
might indeed say, that all who acted upon 
either of the motives mentioned, were influ- 
enced by both. For it is generally true, that 
the bravest man is the least cruel, the coward 
most so ; that he who hesitates not to expose 



THE CROPFY. 21 

himself in a fair fiekl, yet will hesitate to take 
life treacherously, coolly, or at a dispropor- 
tioned advantage over his opponent ; while the 
boastful craven, who shrinks from following in 
his footsteps, glories to show a common zeal in 
the same cause, by imbruing his hands in the 
blood of the already conquered, of the weak, 
or of the defenceless. 

And, apart from the new recruits that con- 
tinued to come in to the popular place of rendez- 
vous, the majority of the executioners and 
butchers of Vinegar Hill were, according to 
the accounts of living chroniclers on both sides 
of the question, individuals of the kind last 
hinted at. Amongst these, indeed, mingled 
some who, if peculiar outrage had not tempo- 
rarily roused their revenge to a maddening 
thirst for blood, might never have brutalized 
themselves, and shamed the nature they bore, 
by participation in such deeds as were done 
upon the breezy summit of that fatal hill ; but 
still they were outnumbered by their brethren 
of a drfferent character ; men, demons rather, 
to be found in all communities, whose natural 
disposition was murderous, and who, but for 
the coward fear of retributive justice, would 



22 THE CROPPY. 

spill blood upon the very hearthstone of house- 
hold peace. Alas for our boasted nature, when 
such beings share it ! 

At the head of the main force, all the prin- 
cipal or more respectable leaders had neces- 
sarily taken their departure from " the camp ;" 
yet some persons, also called leaders, remained 
in nominal command over the skulking mob 
we have described ; themselves scarce raised 
above the scum and dregs who, for a recognized 
similarity and aptness of character, rather than 
for any real merit, chose them as their "capt'ns." 
And by these men were conducted or des- 
patched, during the previous night and day, 
different bands, in different directions, to seize 
on provisions, to diive in cattle and sheep, and 
to lead captive to the rendezvous all whom they 
might deem enemies to the cause of what was 
now pompously styled — little Peter Rooney's 
heart jumping at the sound — " The Waxford 
Army of Liberty/' 

Accordingly, sheep, cows, oxen, and Orange- 
men, or supposed Orangemen, had, previous 
to Sir William Judkin's approach to the hill, 
been abundantly provided for the satiation 
of the only two cravings felt by their feroci- 
ous captors : such of the former as could not 



THE CROPPY. 23 

immediately be devoured, being suffered to 
ramble among the rocks and patches of parch- 
ed grass on the side of the eminence, until 
hunger again called for a meal ; and such of 
the latter as, from whim or fatigue, were not 
summarily despatched, being thrust into a 
prison; — a singular one— until revenge, or 
common murder, again roared for its victims. 

On the summit of the height stood a roof- 
less, round building, originally intended for a 
windmill, but never perfected, because, perhaps, 
in the middle of the projector's work, it became 
tardily evident to him, that the river at his 
feet supplied a better impetus for grinding 
corn than was to be gained from the fitful 
breeze, after mounting up the side of the steep 
hill. In Ireland such buildings rarely occur, 
inasmuch as, almost in every district, the river 
or the rill invites the erection of the more dili- 
gent water-wheel ; and, indeed, we have heard 
that the half-finished pile in question was the 
first thought of an English settler, accustomed 
to such structures in his own country, and sub- 
sequently abandoned for the reasons already 
suggested. 

But, at the time of our story, this roofless 
round tower, about seven paces in diameter, 



24 THE CROPPY. 

and perhaps twenty-five feet in height, was 
appropriated to a use very different from that 
for which it had been planned; — it served, in 
fact, as a temporary prison for the unfortunate 
persons captured by the marauding garrison of 
Vinegar-Hill ; and many were the victims thrust 
through its narrow doorway to meet a horrid 
death on the pikes of the savages abroad. 

Never, before or since, in Ireland, did the 
summer sun dart fiercer rays than, as if in sym- 
pathy with the passions and acts it witnessed, 
during the hot struggle of civil war in the year 
1798. And as Sir William Judkin spurred his 
jaded, smoking horse towards the eminence, 
beast and rider seemed faint with heat and 
toil. 

It may be asserted, that a bridegroom elect, 
if young, love-stricken, and of an ardent nature, 
will sleep little upon the eve of his wed- 
ding-day ; that a thousand sweet thoughts — 
but this is not the time farther to image forth 
the delightful visions which may chase sleep 
from his pillow. If the anticipations of bliss 
prove enemies to repose, the furious working 
of strong passions— of disappointed love — de- 
vouring rage — and drouthy vengeance, will 
more surely cause nature to spurn at the 



THE CROPPY. 25 

thought of slumber. And these assertions 
being true, it hence appears, that for the last 
three nights, and up to the evening of the 
present day, Sir William could have enjoyed 
no rest. For, supposing him kept waking by 
happiness upon the first night of the three ; 
recollecting that he passed the next partly in 
Enniscorthy Castle, partly in his visit to Hart- 
ley Court, and partly in his wild career back 
again to Enniscorthy, until his rencounter with 
Father Rourke ; and the next in Wexford 
prison, after a day not idly wrought through 
amid the flames, and smoke, and blood of the 
conquered town, as well as amid an uninter- 
rupted paroxysm of private passion, which 
gained its climax, when, by the hand of the 
very loathed rival he sought to trample down, 
he was himself foiled and made a captive ; 
and when, in the foamings of his rao-e and 
despair, repose mast have been impossible; — 
supposing and recollecting all this, the young 
Baronet, as with haggard cheeks, with reeking 
and dust-stained brows, and with fierce, blood- 
shot eyes, he now strained up the difficult 
ascent of Vinegar Hill, must have shown the 
faintness visible in feature and limb, even from 
a want of " Tired Nature's sweet restorer, balmy 

VOL. HI. c 



S6 THE CROPPY. 

sleep ;''' if, indeed, there were no other causes 
to produce it. 

And yet nature was not quite exhausted in 
him, but rather, in obedience to the stern 
mandate of his will, summoned his strength 
for a last effort. 

His horse, although stretching every muscle 
at the goad of his bloody spur, could but creep 
with distended nostril and bursting eye against 
the steep and rock-encumbered acclivity : and, 
impatient of the animal's tardy progress. Sir 
William sprang, with an imprecation, from his 
back, and pushed upward ; sobbing, indeed, and 
drenched in perspiration at every step, yet with 
a constancy and a nerve scarce to be accounted 
for, unless we say that his heated brain gave 
him such a stimulus as often imparts incredible 
strength to the confirmed maniac. He gained 
a view of the old windmill-tower. Upon its top 
was hoisted a rude flag of sun-faded green, on 
which, in clumsy white letters, had been in- 
scribed " Liberty or Death,"*' — and, had the 
breeze been brisk enough to float the banner to 
its full extent, all the words would have met 
the eye. But the summer-breeze, as if dis- 
gusted from its agency, had fled the summit of 
Vinegar Hill, leaving that baleful flag to droop 



THE CROPPV. 27 

over the scene beneath it, until within its heavy 
folds the word " Liberty"' became hidden, and 
" Death" alone was visible. 

His banner it might indeed well appear to 
be — drooping, in appropriate listlessness, as it 
exhibited the name of the fell destroyer above 
the havoc he had made. — For, just below the 
base of the tower, the rocks and the burnt grass 
were reddened, and lifeless bodies, frightfully 
gashed, lay here and there amongst them, 
some fully to be seen, others partly concealed 
by the stunted furze and shrubs. 

Sir William still toiled upward. In different 
places along the hill-side, and even at some dis- 
tance beyond its foot, were promiscuous groups 
of men, women, and children,— some reposing 
after fatigue, and others seated round blazing 
fires of wood and furze. The slaughtered car- 
cases of sheep and cows often lay in close neigh- 
bourhood with the mortal remains of their 
enemies ; and the hungry and houseless Croppy 
hacked a piece from the plundered animal he 
had killed for his food, held it on his pike- 
head before the blaze, and when to his mind 
thus inartificially cooked, either stretched his 
rude spit, still holding the morsel on its point, 
to some member of his family, or voraciously 
c 2 



S8 THE CliOPPY". 

devoured it himself. And even here, amongst 
these houseless and friendless people — none, we 
would add, of the ferocious garrison of the wind- 
mill prison, but rather some poor wanderers 
from a burnt cabin, recently come in — even 
amongst them, surrounded by sights of horror, 
and stifling their hunger in this almost savage 
manner, national characteristics were not worn 
down. The laugh was frequent, as the cook 
made some droll remark upon the novelty of 
his occupation, or the excellence of the fare ; 
the words deriving half their import from his 
tone and manner as he perhaps said — " Well ! 
it's nate mate, ccnsidherin orange sheep;'' — or 
— " By gonnies ! orange is the Croppy's friend, 
an"* who'll deny id ;"*" — holding the broiled flesh 
high on his pike: — " Sure it's no other than a 
friend 'ud feed fat sheep for a body ; — -open your 
mouths an' shet your e3^es, now boys an' girls — 
the biggest mouth 'ill have this undher the 
teeth, I'm thinkin':"— and then they gaped 
and laughed loud, as, with a grave face, the 
examiner went round to decide on the compara- 
tive width of each yawning cavern. 

There were carousing groups too, sending 
illicit whiskey, or other more legal liquor, from 
hand to hand ; and upon them the beverage 



THE CRCPPY. 29 

did not fail of its enlivening effect. And lead- 
ers appeared, with green ribands, or perhaps a 
military sash around their persons, or epaulettes 
on their shoulders, torn, as well as the second- 
mentioned article, from officers they had slain, 
inspecting different bands of insurgents as they 
practised their pike exercise; now driving for- 
ward the weapon at a given object ; now dart- 
ing it over their shoulders as if to meet a foe 
from behind ; and now adroitly grasping it at 
either end with both hands, and bringing into 
play the elastic staff, as, with great dexterity, 
they whirled it round their persons, to keep off 
an attack in front. And all the while arose 
loud vociferations, each directing the other, 
according as he arrived, or fancied he had 
arrived, at greater proficiency than his neigh- 
bour. 

But Sir William's attention was at length 
riveted upon the particular throng who, vari- 
ously occupied, surrounded the narrow entrance 
to the old tower. The clamorous crowd, with 
furious action and accents, hustled together, 
and a first glance told that their present occu- 
pation brought into energy all the ferociousness 
of their nature. 

Some of them, who were on horseback, waved 



30 THE CROPPY. 

their arms, and endeavoured to raise their 
voices over the din of those around, who, how- 
ever, vociferated too ardently to hsten to their 
words ; and, as all looked on at the slaughter 
committed by a line of pikemen drawn up be- 
fore the tower, whose weapons were but freed 
from one victim to be plunged into another, it 
was not merely a shout of triumph, but the 
more deadly yell of glutted vengeance, or ma- 
lignity, which, drowning the cry of agony that 
preceded it, burst, with little intermission, from 
all. 

Two sentinels, armed with muskets, guarded 
the low and narrow entrances to the temporary 
prison, and grimly did they scowl on the 
crowded captives pent up within its walls. 
Another man, gaunt and robust in stature, 
having a horseman''s sword buckled awkwardly 
at his hip, a green ribbon tied round his foxy 
felt hat, the crimson sash of a slain militia 
officer knotted round his loins, two large pis- 
tols thrust into it, and a formidable pike in 
his hand, rushed, from time to time, into the 
tower, dragged forth some poor victim, put 
him to a short examination, and then, un- 
less something were urged in favour of the 
destined sufferer, sufficient to snatch him from 



THE CROPPY. 31 

the frightful fate numbers had already met, he 
flung him to his executioners. And this man, 
so furious, so savage, and so remorseless, was 
Shawn-a-Gow. 

Armed also with a musket, and stationed 
between the line of pikemen and the door of 
the tower, in order that he might be the first 
agent of vengeance, stood the ill-favoured 
scoundrel we have mentioned in a former chap- 
ter — the murderous Murtoch Kane, late a 
" stable-boy" at the inn of Enniscorthy. This 
fellow would take life for pastime ; but still, 
as he levelled at his victim, proud of the privi- 
lege of anticipating his brother-executioners, his 
brow ever curled into the murderer's scowl. 

The hasty interrogatories proposed to each 
cringing captive by Shawn-a-Gow, midway be- 
tween the tower and the pikemen, had exclusive 
reference to the religious creed of the party ; and 
the acknowledgment of Protestantism, deemed 
synonymous with Orangeism, at once proclaimed, 
or rather was assumed as proclaiming, a deadly 
enemy, meriting instant vengeance ; yet in this, 
the rabble-insuro;ents of Vinco^ar Hill acted with 
a curious inconsistency. Many Protestants held 
command in the main force of which they called 
themselves adherents ; — nay, the individual se- 



ti^ THE CROPPY. 

lected by unanimous choice as " Commander- 
in-Chief,"''' was of the established rehgion of 
the State. But why pause to point out any 
departure from principle in the persons of such 
men as are before us ? Were their deeds to be 
justly visited on the more courageous as well 
as more numerous bodies of the insurgents, 
we might indeed occupy ourselves with the 
question. 

Panting and nearly fainting, Sir William 
Judkin gained the tower, and, ere he could 
address a question to those around, stood still 
to recover his breath. Two prisoners were 
dragged forth by the relentless Shawn a-Gow. 

^' Are you a Christian ?''"' he demanded, 
glaring into the face of one trembling wretch, 
as he grasped him by the collar. 

*^ I am, Jack Delouchery,"'^ he was answered. 

'' Are you a right Christian ?'' 

^' I am a Protestant."' 

" Ay— the Orange." 

" No, not an Orangeman." 

'' Now, hould silence, you dog ! every mo- 
ther's son o' ye is Orange to the backbone. Is 
there any one here to say a word for this Orange- 
man?" 

There was an instant's silence, during which 



THE CROPPr. 33 

the pale, terror-stricken man gazed beseechingly 
upon every dark and ominous face around him ; 
but the cry ^' Pay him his reckonin"" " soon 
sealed the victim's doom ; and with a fierce 
bellow, the words '^ Ay, we'll weed the land 
o' ye — we'll have only one way; — we'll do to 
every murtherer o' ye what ye 'd do to us;" — 
was the furious sentence of the smith, as he 
pitched him forward. Murtoch Kane shot, 
and a dozen pikes did the rest. 

The smith seized the second man. One of 
the lookers-on started forward, claimed him as a 
friend, and told some true or feigned story of 
his interference previous to the insurrection, 
between Orange outrage and its victims ; and he 
was flung to his patron by Shawn-a-Gow, with 
the carelessness of one who presided over life 
and death ; the same savage action tossing the 
all but dead man into life, which had hurled the 
previous sufferer into eternity. 

Sir William Judkin, as the smith ag-ain 
strode to the door of the prison, came forward 
to address him, with the question ready to burst 
from his chopped and parched lips, when the 
man whose name he would have mentioned, 
already in the gripe of Shawn, was dragged 
forth into view. 

c 5 



^4 THE CROPPV. 

The Baronet stepped back. His manner 
changed from its fiery impetuosity. He now 
felt no impulse to bound upon a prey escaping 
from his hands. In the Gow's iron grasp, and 
in the midst of a concourse of sworn enemies, 
the devoted Talbot stood sufficiently secured ; 
and, as if to indulge the new sensations of re- 
venge at last gratified, or to compose himself 
to a purpose that required system in its execu- 
tion, he stood motionless, his lynx-eye darting 
from beneath his black brows arrowy glances 
upon his rival, and his breathing, which re- 
cently had been the pant of anxiety, altered 
into the long-drawn respiration of resolve. 

Captain Talbot ayjpeared dispoiled of his 
military jacket, his helmet, his sash, and all the 
other tempting appendages of warlike uniform, 
which long ago had been distributed amongst 
the rabble commanders of " the camp." No 
man can naturally meet death with a smile : it 
is affectation even in the hero that assumes it ; 
it is bravado, on other lips, to hide a quailing 
heart: it was the vanity of consistency in the 
stoic, because his disciples were looking on with 
their stiles and tablets to minute his last words 
and conduct to posterity ; had he been bleeding 
to death in a desert, the echoes of the solitude 



THE CROPPY. 35 

would have made answer to his moans. Even He 
who triumphed over death, and whose example 
must teach how to die, as well as how to live, 
prayed that the bitter cup might pass away ; 
and even the consolations of His religion will but 
serve to clothe the features with solemn resigna- 
tion to the loss of life. But, particularly in the 
event of a sudden and terrible summons from 
existence, hero and coward, saint and sinner, 
must present alike, to the approach of the dread 
summoner, though perhaps in different degrees 
of expression, an eye of horror and a pallid 
cheek. And Captain Talbot, whatever might 
have been the strength and the secrets of his 
heart, as he instinctively resisted the compelling 
arm of Shawn-a-Gow, was pale and trembling, 
and his glance was that of terror. 

Hopeless of mercy, he spoke no word, used 
no remonstrance; it was unavailing. Before 
him bristled the red pikes of his ruthless execu- 
tioners ; behind him stood IMurtoch Kane, cock- 
ing his musket ; and the grasp that dragged him 
along told at once the determination and the 
strength of the infuriated giant. 

"■ There 's a dozen o' ye, I 'm sure !" sneered 
Shawn; '' Til standout to spake for Sir Thomas 
Hartley's hangman/' The tone of bitter, savage 



36 



THE CROPPY. 



mockery in which he spoke, grated at Talbot's 
ear, as first grinning into his prisoner's face, 
he tlien glanced in fierce triumph over the 
crowd. 

*' A good pitch to him, Capt'n Delouchery," 
cried one of the executioners : " don't keep 
uswaitin'; we're dhry an' hungry for him:" 
and a general murmur of execration followed, 
and an impatient shout at the delay of ven- 
geance. 

" My undeserved death will be avenged, 
murderers as you are," said the ghastly Cap- 
tain Talbot, in reckless serenity of accent. 

Shawn-a-Gow held him at arm's length, and 
with an expression of mixed ferocity and amaze- 
ment again stared into his face. 

*^ An' you 're callin' us murtherers, are 
you?" he said, after a moment's pause — " Boys! 
bould Croppy boys, d' ye hear him ? Tell me, 
ar'n't you the man that stood by the gallows 
foot, wid the candle in your hand, waitin' till 
the last gasp was sent out o' the lips o' him who 
often opened his dour to you, and often sat 
atin an dhrinkin wid you, under his own 
loof .? — ar'n't you, Talbot, that man?" 

No answer came from the accused. 

'^ Yon don't say no to me ; ay ! becase 



THE CROPPV. 37 

you can't; — an' you call out murtherers on us. 
— Are you here, Pat Murphy ?" he roared. 

** I'm here," replied the man who had be- 
fore raised the first cry for instant vengeance. 

" Do you know any thing good this caller 
o' names done to you ?'' 

" It was him an' his yeomen hung the only 
born brother o' me." 

'^ An' d' you hear that, ^ou murtherer? — 
d' you hear that, an' have you the bouldness in 
you to spake to us ? — I '11 tell you, you Orange 
skibbeah ! we '11 keep you up for the last ; ay, 
by the sowl o' my son ! we '11 keep you for the 
very last, till you 're half dead wid the fear, 
an' till we '11 have time to pay you in the way 
I 'd glory to see or — come here, Murphy ; 
come out, here — stand close — you ought to be 
first ; take your time wid him ; keep him 
feeling id, as long as a poor Croppy 'ud feel 
the rope, when they let him down only to pull 
him up again." 

The man stepped forward as he was ordered. 
Shawn-a-Gow swung the struggling Captain 
Talbot around. AVith the instinctive avoid- 
ance of a terrible death, the prisoner grasped 
with his disengaged hand the brawny arm that 
held him, and, being a young man of strength, 



&0 Tin: ci'.oppy. 

clung to it in desperation — in desperation with- 
out hope. But, although he was young and 
strong and desperate, too, he opposed the sinew 
of a Hercules. The smith, with his single arm, 
dashed him backwards and forwards, until, mad- 
dened by Talbot's continued chnging, and his 
agile recovery of his legs at every toss, Shawn's 
mouth foamed ; he seized in his hitherto inac- 
tive hand the grasping arms of the struggler, 
tore them from their hold, and " Now, Mur- 
phy,'"* he bellowed, as Murphy couched his 
pike, and pushed down his hat and knit his 
brows to darkness. Shawn-a-Gow's right side 
was turned to the executioner ; his black, dis- 
torted face, to the weapon upon vvhich he should 
cast his victim ; he stood firmly on his divided 
legs, in the attitude that enabled him to exert 
all his strength in the toss he contemplated ; 
when Sir William Judkin, hitherto held back 
by a wish perhaps to allow all vicissitudes of 
suiFering to visit his detested rival, sternly step- 
ped between the writhing man and his fate. 

" Stop, Delouchery !" he said, in a deep, im- 
pressive voice; and before the smith could ex- 
press his astonishment or rage at the interrup- 
tion, — " stop !" he said again, in higher accents; 
*' this man," — scowling as he used the term of 



THE CROPPY. S9 

contempt — " this man must be given into my 
hands — I must kill him ;" — he continued in a 
whisper close at Shawn's ear — " I must kill 
him myself." 

*' Why so ?'' growled the smith. 
*^ He is the murderer of my father-in-law."* 
" People here has just as good a right to 
him," answered Shawn-a-Gow surlily, much 
vexed at the interruption he had experienced, 
and scarce able to stay his hand from its im- 
pulse : " here *s Pat Murphy, an' he hung the 
only born brother iv him : and Murphy must 
have a pike through Talbot : / had one through 
VVhaley." 

" And he shall. But, Delouchery, listen 
farther : Talbot has forced off my wife — has 
her concealed from me — Sir Thomas Hartley's 
daughter : after murdering the father, he would 
destroy the child— and that child my wife. 
Before he dies, I must force him to confess 
where she is to be found — and then, Murph}^ 
and I for it, between us.'' 

" I '11 soon force out iv him, for you, where 
the wife is." 

"No, Delouchery — he will tell nothing here." 
" An' where will you bring him to make 
him tell?" 



40 THE CROPPY. 

" Only to yonder field, at the bottom of 
the hill." 

The smith paused, and seemed resolving 
the proposition in all its points. He cast his 
eyes around. " Mollony, come here — Farrell, 
come here," he said. Two men advanced 
from the interior of the prison. 

" Where 's the rope that tied the Orangemen 
that cum into the camp from Benclody ?'' 
" It's to the good for another job, Capfn." 
Without farther explanation, he forced Cap- 
tain Talbot backward into the prison ; re- 
appeared with him, his hands tied behind his 
back ; gave the end of the rope into Sir 
William Judkin's hand ; then he called Murphy 
aside, and, in a whisper of few words, directed 
him to accompany " Curnel Judkin," an' give 
him a helping hand, or watch him close, as the 
case might seem to demand : and then turning 
to the Baronet, " There he 's for you now ; 
an' have a care an' do the business well." 

It would be difficult to divine what were 
Captain Talbot's feelings when he recognised 
the strange interference between him and his 
terrible doom. The first emphatic words ad- 
dressed by Sir William Judkin to Shawn-a-Gow 
told nothing of his real design, although they 



THE CliOPPY. 41 

certainly proclaimed his wish to save his rival 
from immediate death. The subsequent part 
of the conversation between the Baronet and the 
smith was begun by the former in a whisper, 
and followed up by the latter, while he held the 
subject of it at arm's length, in a low, inaudible 
growl : so that Talbot could only suspect its 
import. And if his still pallid features told 
the secrets of his mind, he did indeed suspect ; 
for, mixed with the horror which had lately 
been their sole expression, eager inquiry, 
doubt, and trembling solicitude, now alternately 
possessed them. 

He was silent, however ; and by the time 
that he descended the hill-side, guarded at one 
shoulder by his rival, who held the end of the 
rope which strongly tied him, and at the other 
by Murphy, who still clutched the weapon he 
had just couched for his death, Captain Talbot 
seemed collected, too. 

The last slanting rays of the setting sun 
shot upward against the slope of the eminence, 
as the victim and his escort strode down to 
its base ; and although that brilliant beam can 
turn to a mass of vermilion and gold the most 
unsightly vapour which hangs in the heavens, 
or fling a glowing interest over objects the 



42 THE CROPPY. 

most rude or uncouth in themselves, it could 
not make less horrible the horrors of the steep 
hill-side. Suddenly, the burning orb sank 
from view behind the distant curvings of the 
extensive panorama spreading all around, and 
night began to fall, more appropriately to hide 
what the glorious summer-evening only ren- 
dered frightfully distinct. 

As was generally the case amongst the in- 
surgent multitudes, such of the occupants of 
the rude camp as had cabins to repair to, 
v.cre now bending from the hill to pass the 
night under a roof; while others, and those by 
far the greater number, stretched themselves 
by some rock, or patch of furze, to sleep 
beneath the twinkling of the stars. The work 
of death ceased for a time. With an approach 
towards military usage, the leaders were placing 
sentinels at different distances, to give notice 
of any approach of the enemy, and imparting 
to them some oddly-sounding and fantastic 
watchword. The cooking-fires sank down, 
and comparative stillness reigned over the 
barren extent that had so lately sounded to 
the shouts of carousal, to the screams of 
agony, and to the fierce clamour of maddened 
passions. 



THE CROPPY. 43 

And amid this altered aspect of the savage 
scene. Sir Wilham Judkin and Captain Talbot 
entered, through a gap in its fence, a lonesome 
field, northward from the base of Vinegar Hill. 
It may seem a subject for inquiry why the 
Baronet thus chose to convey his prisoner to a 
spot so solitary, and so far removed from obser- 
vation ; but men bent upon any fearful act 
will, perhaps unconsciously, select a fit place 
to do it in. And Sir "William might have had 
some vague idea of the kind, as he strode 
towards this remote field, holding a stern 
silence, during which he probably nerved him- 
self for the coming event, and pulling, at every 
step, the end of his victim's manacle ; and his 
notions of an appropriate situation, and of the 
conduct he was to pursue, might have together 
been arrived at, when, in about the middle of 
the waste ground, he suddenly halted, whirled 
short upon Talbot, raised his person high, as 
he struck the end of his pike-stafF into the sod, 
and then leaning on the v%-eapon, and glaring a 
cool though deep glance from beneath his 
meeting brows, at last broke the long silence. 

" Talbot, where is my wife ?" His tones 
were not loud, yet they sounded fiercely dis- 
tinct. 



44 THE CROPPV. 

*' Your wife V repeated Talbot expres- 
sively, as he returned his rival's stare ; and his 
voice wanted little of the rigid composure of 
that in which he had been addressed, while it 
seemed an echo as well of the Baronet's cadence 
as of his words. 

The querist started ; perhaps at the recogni- 
tion of a resolved mood, cool as his own, when 
something more to his purpose was naturally to 
have been expected in Talbot's situation. 

"Heaven and earth! — do you only repeat 
my question ? Have you heard it distinctly T'' 

" Yes, distinctly." 

" And will not answer it ? 

" No.^' 

'* No .^ — I have saved your life !" 

" That is yet to be shown." 

" How .? — how, better than I have already 
shown it V 

*' Set me at hberty." 

" You would do so in my situation T^ 

Talbot was silent. Sir William repeated his 
question. 

" I will make no reply." 

" You need not. I know well in what man- 
ner you would use over me the power I now 
have over you." 



THE CROPFV. 45 

*' If SO, pass the subject."' 

" Talbot, still you can bribe me to set you 
free. Speak but a fesv words, and I cut this 
rope, and give you safeguard beyond the last 
insurgent outpost." 

" Propose the words.'' 

" First — I again demand — where is my wife ?" 

" You mean. Sir Thomas Hartley's daughter?" 

" Be it so : how have you disposed of her .^" 

" Still I must decline to answer you." 

'' Well, this at least, this — '' Sir William 
began to tremble, while his captive remained 
self-possessed, and he hissed a question into 
Talbot's ear. 

" No!" was the quick answer: "No! she 
is yet, what she has ever been, innocent as the 
angel inhabitant of Heaven !" 

" Swear it ! — swear by the Eternal Ruler of 
the Universe, who, in the silence of this night, 
listens to record your oath ; and, Talbot, to 
record it for you, or against you." 

" By that Great Judge, before whom in a 
few seconds I may appear, I swear it !" 

" Well — I believe you ; for, Talbot, could 
you, without peril to your eternal lot, answer 
me otherwise — otherwise I had been answered." 

Sir William's voice sank low, expressing the 



46 THE CROPPY. 

relief his feelings experienced, and for a mo- 
ment his head drooped towards his breast : 
but suddenly he raised it to its former fierce 
elevation. 

" Villain ! — and you have vrell and truly 
judged my character — you dared not suppose I 
could drag you here, bound in a felon rope, at 
my mercy, and not kill you ; kill you — ay ! 
and your last answer has sealed your doom ! 
Murderer, miscreant, fool ! — yes, fool ! — your 
death now becomes necessary — now — here — 
this instant, inevitable, to hinder you from 
accomplishing over me the triumph you have 
not yet attained : you know me, and I know 
you; yet, with all the stains upon your ac- 
cursed name, I can credit your oath, and you 
die, that you may not disentitle yourself to re- 
peat it." 

" And do not you suppose,*" retorted Talbot, 
still seemingly echoing the tones in vi^hich he 
was addressed — '* do not you suppose that, 
after understanding your character and your 
nature, I had expected mercy at your hands 
when I gave that answer? — and call me not 
fool, for, fool, at least, you do not believe I am. 
You know that, from your first interference on 
tlie top of the hill, I read your purpose ; that 



THE CROl'PY. "H 

I did not dream of averting it by my reply to 
a question worthy of you; that all along I 
expected you would coolly shed my blood ; — 
now, point your pike at once, and rid me of 
your abhorred company !'' 

" Ay ?" — laughed out Sir William Judkin, 
at last fully excited — " ay ! by the spacious 
heavens above us!— and I feared — I trembled 
at the thought that any other man than myself 
might have a share in killing you. You saw 
me whisper and motion from us, ere we entered 
this field, the man who, on account of the 
murder of his beloved brother, through your 
agency, pretends to dispute the right with 
me: I bribed him to leave us together for a 
moment ; had he refused, I would luive earned 
the opportunity of dealing with you alone, by 
first stretching him at my feet. No hand but 
this — this — shall dare to let forth one drop of 
your blood — for it is all mine— mine every little 
atom !'' 

" The Lord have mercy on my soul !" said 
Talbot solenmly, and now not without emo- 
tion ; — ^' Oh, well I know it — the least animal 
knows its natural murderer ; and I — could I 
mistake you ? — The Lord have mercy on my 
soul !"" he repeated in an exhausted voice, and 



48 THE CROPPY. 

yet in such fervour of appeal as a courageous 
man assumes when, though taking a farewell of 
this life, he can cast forward a strong look into 
eternity — " The Lord have mercy on my soul !" 
he said, for the third time. 

*^ And," resumed Sir WilHam Judkin, in 
his former strain of loud exultation — ^* I could 
satisfy a sceptic, if he dared to raise a doubt, 
of my fair, my indisputable claim to every 
bubble that courses round your heart !^' 

" I ask but one minute's liberty to kneel," 
interrupted Talbot, evidently not attending to 
the last words — *^ hold the rope more at length, 
and only let me kneel." 

^' First hear me," answered his rival, twining 
it yet another coil round his left-hand, while 
he grasped the pike in his right. " Even to 
yourself I will recite the grounds of my ex- 
clusive proprietorship in your life, and gainsay 
them if you can" — his high voice sank omi- 
nously low: — ^' you dared to cross my love — 
you dared to raise your eyes to the very lady 
I had wooed and won — you leagued and plotted 
with a common ruffian to murder me — you sent 
him to waylay me — upon the felon gdlows, 
hanging like a dog, you watched the last ago- 
nies of my father-in-law — by perjury you con- 



THE CROPPY. 49 

trived his fate, and by perjury you would have 

doomed me to the same death of ignominy 

Next, with the hands that all but strangled 
her father, you tore away my wife, and you 
now refuse to render her back to me, or to dis- 
cover the place of her imprisonment. But, — " 
his voice sank lower still — " but, Talbot, the 
deadliest item is to be told — you dared, too — " 

Sir William stopped, for the footsteps of 
Murphy sounded near, as he said, — " Tundher- 
an' fire, Curnel ! will you keep him talkin' all 
the night long ? — Let me have my share o' the 
work, till I be goin'." 

'^ Here, Murphy," cried Sir WiUiam, speak- 
ing rapidly — *' what value do you set on your 
revenge against this man ?" 

" What value duv I — what ?"" asked the 
gaping fellow, as he endeavoured to compre- 
hend the question. 

" Sir, take these two guineas," rejoined 
Sir William eagerly ; " take them, and leave 
him to me — I would have no partner in putting 
him to death." 

*' Och, by the hokey !'* replied Murphy, 
and he could say no more, for still he was not 
able to understand why he should get so con- 
siderable a bribe. 

VOL. III. D 



50 THE CROPPY. 

" Or, if you persist," — Sir William burst 
into a rage — " I will first kill you, and then 
stretch him upon your body ! — Begone, I 
say r 

" An' is id to go away, your honour is givin' 
the good money ?" 

« Yes — I would purchase from you the sole 
privilege of taking vengeance upon him." 

" That 's as much as to say you '11 pike 
him yoursef, widout any body to help 
you?" 

" Ay !" cried Sir William exultingly — 
" pike him while an inch can quiver !" 

" Well, I wish you loock, Curnel : the only 
spite I have to 'im is on the head o' the poor 
brether o' me ; but sence you say you '11 do id 
for the both iv us, at oncet, an' do it so well, 
into the bargain, sure, there 's no differ betuxt 
us ; — good-night !" 

" Leave me ! quick, quick !" 

" Och, as quick as you plase : to tell the 
blessed truth, I had only half a heart for id 
in the night-time, this a-way, an' in this ugly, 
lonesome place, whatever I 'd do by the light 
o' the sun :" and the man plodded towards 
the hill, wondering much at the fancy of '* the 
Curnel," who, " it was asy enough to see. 



THE CROPPY. 51 

thought the pike-exercise to be great fun, 
when he 'd give two yellow guineas to have id 
all to himsef, an"* be ready to ate one up 
in a bit, jest for not takin' 'em at the first 
offer." 

" And now, Talbot," said Sir William 
Judkin, " we are quite alone ; prepare your- 
self — you stand here my bound and manacled 
victim, and I will slay you." 

" Finish the last charge you were about to 
make against me, when your fellow-murderer 
interrupted us," replied Talbot. 

** No, Talbot — not now — I perceive it would 
gratify you, and I will not. You know my 
meaning, — that is sufficient." ; 

*' Then, even of you, I can crave a last 
boon — one already preferred — let me kneL4 
down." 

" Ay, there — " he held the rope at its full 
length, so that Talbot could, without strug- 
gling, gain the position he wished; — " it tallies 
with my humour — I am unwilling to spare 
you one pang : kneel — look your last at the 
bright stars, — think your last thought of her 
whom you leave behind to my love, and to 
my triumph over you, — fully feel what it is to 
die by the hand of an exulting rival, in youth, 
D 2 

LIBRARY 

UNIVERSITY OF IIUHOIS 



52 THE CROPPY. 

in hope, and — a few hours ago — almost his 
conqueror ; — I can kill you but once ; and the 
torments these thoughts must give you, will 
prolong, in anticipation, to my heart, the 
positive enjoyment of the final act. Nor dare 
to build a lying comfort upon the hope of my 
not discovering the place to which you have 
forced her. Fool ! I call you so again, fool ! 
I will find my wife — ay, my wife, Talbot, if 
she yet lives upon the surface of the earth !" 

Captain Talbot had quickly availed himself 
of the permission to fall upon his knees. For a 
moment he seemed occupied in mental prayer, 
his eyes turned upward; then he suddenly 
broke forth aloud. 

" I have fearful things to answer for at thy 
fJudgment Seat — in thy mercy, accept my pre- 
sent repentance, on the verge of an early and 
fearful death. And O Almighty Father of my 
being ! if the prayer of a wretched sinner can 
ascend into thy presence, give ear to my last 
earthly petition : permit not the approach of 
my base murderer to the mistress of my heart ! 
stretch forth thy interposing arm between 
them : shield her, save her ! — thou wilt, O 
God, thou wilt ! I feel the comfort of thy pro- 
mise in my soul ! Unworthy as I am, my prayer 



THE CROPPY. 



53 



has been beard !" He started to his feet, as 
quickly as his pinioned arms would permit him, 
and addressed Sir WiUiam Judkin — " Yes ! I 
have had a view into futurity. The spirit of 
prophecy is upon me. You can slaughter me ; 
but listen — never, never, will you enjoy her 
smiles from whom you thus separate me ! Never 
will her white arms clasp my murderer's neck ! 
And I leave her but a little time before you — 
you, too, must sink into an early and ignomi- 
nious grave ; and during your short sojourn upon 
earth, my watchful spirit, hovering over your 
most secret steps, ^vill still protect my beloved 
mistress from ^^our touch !" 

" This, then, to free you for your mission !" 
exultingly cried Sir William Judkin. While Tal- 
bot spoke, he had gradually shortened the pike- 
handle in his grasp, and pointed its head to his 
victim's breast, and with cool and deadly cer- 
tainty he was making the push forward, when 
he felt the weapon seized behind him, and for- 
cibly tugged backward. At the same instant, 
both his arms were secured, and the pistol, which 
he had thrust into his bosom, was snatched from 
him by a woman's hand, and that woman the 
same through whose agency he had escaped 
from the castle of Enniscorthy. 



54 THE CROPPY. 

While he struggled desperately to force him- 
self out of the grasp of two strong men, each of 
whom held separately one of his arms, the 
woman cut asunder Captain Talbot's bonds : 
and, ''Now V she said, in the same impressive 
voice which on a former occasion had startled 
Sir William Judkin ; " now, Talbot, fly : for 
you are free to fly ! Pause not an instant ; 
your eye tells the vengeance you would in turn 
take upon him — but dare not to injure a hair 
of his head ! If I have saved him from the 
guilt of shedding your blood, I can and will 
farther save him from death or inj ury at your 
hands,— fly, and do not parley : fly while you 
are not prevented !'' 

^' We meet again !" cried Captain Talbot, 
walking close up to his rival ; and then he 
made use of his freedom, and left the spot. 

'* And ive have met again !" said the woman, 
also confronting Sir William, the moment Tal- 
bot had departed. 

*' Fiend from hell !" exclaimed the Baronet, 
madly renewing his struggles, and now more 
successful than at first. One arm was disen- 
gaged, and with its clenched hand he struck 
his second captor to the ground, and bounded 
backward at full liberty, catching up the pike 



THE CROPPy. 55 

that had been forced from him, and then flung 
upon the grass. 

" Perish, wretch ! whoever you are !"' he con- 
tinued, darting his weapon at the man he had 
just felled ; and the faint exclamation of his 
victim was cut short by the flutter of his last 
breath. 

" And now !" glaring around for another 
prey, but the second man had disappeared ; 
and the woman stood on the fence of the field, 
crying out after him — " Stand, coward !— come 
back, or he escapes me I — I will not fire upon 
him, and alone I cannot secure him !"" Ere 
she had done speaking. Sir William had closely 
approached her, with the stealthy stride of the 
wild Indian creeping upon liis foe; — the rustle 
of the grass under his feet caused her to turn ; 
when she saw him so near, a suppressed scream 
escaped her, and she jumped down, and was 
hid from his view by the fence. 

Eagerly he sprang after her : in his haste, 
and perhaps on account of the exhausted state 
of his frame, his foot slipped, and he fell back- 
ward. Regaining his feet, with curses and im- 
precations, he stood, at a second effort, outside 
the field. A figure rapidly made way towards 
the town, along a narrow pathway leading from 



56 THE CROPPY. 

the base of Vinegar-hill, and he believed they 
were a woman's garments which fluttered on 
the light breeze. Sir William pursued with 
his utmost speed, still keeping the fugitive in 
view ; but at a particular point, the pathway 
ran between rising grounds, which deeply sha- 
dowed it, and there the moving object escaped 
his eye. Footsteps, however, still sounded be- 
fore him, and he did not relax his speed ; they 
grew fainter, and he summ.oned all his strength 
even to increase it : they suddenly ceased, and 
he stopped, panting and staggering, to look 
around. He had passed the narrow track lead- 
ing from Enniscorthy to the hill ; he was in the 
ruined suburb which had been consumed upon 
the day of the late attack ; silence reigned 
throufijh all the black desolation that surrounded 
him, and no living creature apjieared in view. 

" I am lost," he muttered, keenly aroused to 
a sense of the disappointments of the last half- 
hour — " on every side lost : hell and earth 
league against me !" and furiously shouting, as 
if in defiance of the faintness he felt approach- 
ing. Sir William sank upon the ground : over- 
strained nature could no longer bear up against 
the fatigue and the agitation he had for nearly 
three days and nights endured. 



THE CHOPPY. 



57 



CHAPTER III. 

It is not with us always a matter of choice 
that we present before the reader pictures of 
human passion and excess, which, we are aware, 
may inspire some tyro-critic, whom they in- 
struct in the secrets of his fellow-creatures, 
with a hint, whispered over the shoulders of 
such of our patrons as, like the indolent Gray, 
read new novels on sofas. But we paint from 
the people of a land, amongst whom, for the last 
six hundred years, national provocations have 
never ceased to keep alive the strongest, and 
often the worst passions of our nature ; whose 
pauses, — during that long lapse of a country's 
existence,— from actual conflict in the field, have 
been but so many changes irto mental strife ; 
and who, to this day, are held prepared, should 
the war-cry be given, to rush at each other's 
D 5 



58 THE CROl'PY. 

throats, and enact scenes that, in the columns 
of a newspaper, 

(" That folio of four pages, happy work ! 
Wliich not even critics criticise/') 

would show more terribly vivid than in these 
chapters any selected by us, from former facts, 
for the purposes of candid though slight illus- 
tration. 

Necessity, then, rather than choice, some- 
times compels us to exhibit individuals and 
occurrences proper to the community that sup- 
phes originals for our study. We do not pour- 
tray the minds, the hearts, the habits, the 
manners, or the acts of a tranquillized and a 
happy people ; least of all do we pourtray the 
quiet and passionless decorum which can only 
result from a well-knit, long-confirmed, pros- 
perous, and perhaps selfish state of society. 

If, therefore, some such critic as has before 
been mentioned, occasionally object to us the 
extravagance of our delineation, or the harsh- 
ness of our colouring, his quarrel is with 
human nature, and, it may be, with human 
policy, and not with us. 

Should he invariably grow pale, or get ill, at 
sketches of natural passions, and at the charac- 
ter they form, or the events they produce, then, 



THE CROPPY. 59 

indeed, we would admit his quarrel to be per- 
sonal, as regards ourselves; yet, for all that, 
we could not afford to administer to his washy, 
water-colour taste, by wholly withdrawing our 
eyes from those sublime objects of moral study, 
which, above all others, stamp breadth and 
depth upon the artist's canvass. 

Still it is, to ourselves, rather a painful la- 
bour than a pleasant relaxation, when we are 
obliged to go through some scenes we would 
gladly leave unnoticed ; and, on the contrary, 
it is truly gratifying when, as is now about to 
be the case, we can consistently drop into com- 
pany with certain of our characters, from whom 
we need apprehend no furious ebullitions of 
passion, and no wild aggression against the 
species to which we all belong. 

We have to recur to Hartley Court, and 
describe some events which occurred in that de- 
solate mansion immediately after Sir William 
Judkin left it, upon the night of his escape 
from the castle of Enniscorthy. The old 
spirit-broken butler listened to the galloping 
clatter of Sir William's horse, until the sounds 
died away in the distance, and then slowly 
quitted the stable-yard and re-entered the 
house. 



60 



THE CROPPY. 



His aged wife, the housekeeper, and Nanny 
the Knitter, were seated in the kitchen, — the 
one holding licr dotted apron to her eyes, as 
she rocked backward and forward ; the other 
occupying, even under existing circumstances, a 
certain " cricket stool," which, during her many 
visits, she had always considered her proper 
throne. Invariably, indeed, upon her arrival 
to share the warmth of the kitchen-fire in Hart- 
ley Court, Nanny would look about for this 
article of furniture, and when asked to be 
seated, reply, " Yes, wid a heart-and-a-haif, 
my honey pet, an' bless the providhers for the 
cooramuch* fire, but I don't see my stool any 
where" (although she could point out its pos- 
sessor) ; and this declaration of partiality for 
"her stool"" never passed unheeded; and she 
would carry it to the corner close to " the hob," 
and when established upon it, become president 
of the gossip for the evening. On the present 
occasion, however, although occupying her 
usual post, little appearance of former comfort 
was to be seen even in Nanny's corner. Vv' hen 
oppressed by extreme misery, people grow in- 
different to those little external arrangements 

* Snug. 



THE CROPPY 



61 



which confer upon their dwellings and persons 
a character of cheeriness. Something within 
the mind insinuates, " I do not care to attend 
to such matters now, — let them remain as they 
are." The fire had burnt down in the large 
kitchen-grate ; many of the culinary utensils 
were in disorder ; a chair, or a form, remained 
upset, no one caring to put it upright ; or each 
saying, perhaps, " It may lie there, for the 
masther is down too C a solitary candle, only 
half illuminating the spacious and arched apart- 
ment, was allowed to flare on without trim- 
ming, until the drooping wick ate into its side ; 
and a very old black cat, who, from the hour 
of her birth, had never before needed to ap- 
proach, for her perfect enjoyment, nearer than 
some feet to the fire, now sat but half asleep 
in its ashes. 

Yet, comfortless as was the appearance of the 
kitchen, the old butler and his wife preferred to 
occupy it upon this evening, rather than sit in 
their own room, where, they said, '* they had no 
right to sit any longer, now that their masther 
was gone."' No other persons were inmates of 
the desolate house. It became necessary, that 
none who could not strictly be depended upon 
should learn the place of concealment into which 



62 TiiK cRorpy. 

the plate was to be removed ; and a consultation 
ensued between the projectors of the important 
scheme, and, at Nanny''s suggestion, many of 
the inferior domestics were sent away from 
Hartley Court. Two females, who could not 
without strong cause be summarily disposed of, 
supplied good reason to the housekeeper for 
their immediate dismissal, by attempting, amid 
the general confusion and dismay, to pilfer some 
valuable articles. Timothy Reily, as is known, 
had been apprehended along with his master ; 
and three of his male fellow-servants, who were 
refused admission, as evidences for Sir Thomas, 
at the gate of the castle of Enniscorthy, only 
returned to the house to communicate the intel- 
ligence, together with that of the Baronet's con- 
viction, and then set off, infuriated, to join the 
insurgents, and revenge his death upon the 
party they considered as his murderers. 

Long after the butler's return to the kitchen, 
silence continued between the sad trio. Nanny 
at last spoke. 

" Misthress Flannigan, my honey, the darlin' 
iv a Sir William is heart-scalded — the Lord look 
down upon him, poor crature, this blessed an' 
holy night !" 

Nanny had never been distinguished for any 



THE CHOPPY. 63 

great ardency of feeling. Since her husband's 
death, httle had occurred to arouse the passion 
of grief within her equable breast : all went on 
well with her; free from trouble, and certain 
that the morrow would find her as welcome a 
visitant amongst her neighbours as she had ever 
been, she saw her weasel-skin purse gradually 
distending to portion off her only daughter ; and 
when that daughter was addressed by a ''daler,' 
from the town of Ross, — a middle-aged man, 
who had come into Nanny's district to make 
purchases in the way of his traffic, — and when 
she visited his remote establishment, found it 
" snug," and consequently agreed that her 
Nancy should become its mistress, the old wo- 
man remained without care of any kind. For 
twenty years she had shed no tear on her own 
account; it could, therefore, scarce be expected 
that she should weep much over the sorrows of 
others. And, in truth, though generally pre- 
sent amid the domestic griefs of all in her neigh- 
bourhood, none ever reckoned on seeing her 
join the mourning wail. It was only calculated 
that her constant habits of bending her minute 
mind to determine what was best to be done 
under every change of circumstances, would give 
them the advantage of her care and guidance of 



64 



THE caOPPY. 



affairs, which they were too much afflicted to 
look after ; and, for Nanny's own part, her pre- 
dominant spirit of curiosity, and her trade of 
intermeddling in other people's concerns, sup- 
plied abundant excitement, — even denying her 
all claims to benevolence, which we by no means 
do, — for exertions invariably presumed on, and 
seldom unprofitably undertaken. Upon the. pre- 
sent unparalleled occasion, however, she felt the 
necessity of making a show of sympathy with 
the weeping domestics. It was something like 
a mumbling, ill-finished attempt at a moaning 
sound, which she sent forth, moving her head 
from right to left as its accompaniment ; and 
thus she prefaced the observation we have just 
recorded ; and when the tears and real sobs of 
her auditors came afresh at the associations of 
complicated misery her words quickly started, 
still Nanny could contribute no more than her 
gurgling noise, and the mechanical motion of 
her strangely attired head. 

" An** the poor disthracted barrowknight is 
gone back wid himsef to Enniscorthy, Misthres? 
Flannigan, my honey," she continued. 

" I fear so," said the butler — " Where they 
will soon hang him, as well as my poor masther. 
Och ! och ! see what a world it is, an' what 



THE CROPPY. 65 

people is in id I Where 's the one 'ud think, 
this day twelvemonth, that Square Capt'n Tal- 
bot, that used to get his bit an' his sup amost 
every day undher this poor roof, an' be walkin' 
out, in the mornin' an' in the evening wid the 
purty Miss EHza, — Lady Eleezabeth Judkin, 
barrowknight, that is now, — that he ^d be the 
man to bring all this throuble on his good be- 
nefacthers."" 

" I never was desaved by him," said the 
housekeeper ; " he was a black, forbiddin'-lookin' 
young man, except when he put on the smiles 
for my darlin' young lady. May ill fortune, as 
black as his looks an' his heart, sthrew his road 
every day he sees the light ! An' Sir Wil- 
liam Judkin, the honey pet, who 'd think he 
could be sich a wicked gintleman, — him that 
once an' always had the good-humour on his 
hansome face ; — an' sure, it was all as one as a 
thing done, out-an'-out, when he swore he 'd 
pitch me from the winder, blessed be the Hea- 
vens !" 

" He can't be blamed, — sure, what happened 
was enough to turn any Christian saint into a 
madman ; — but, ah ! the Lord purtect us ! what 
a thraitor-way the other went to work !" said 
Mrs. Flannigan. 



66 THE CROPPY. 

" A man that*'s crassed," resumed Nanny, 
'' listens to ould Nick's whispers, an' sure, he 
whispered the worst o** bad thoughts into the 
ould sweetheart's head : — bud stop," cried the 
acute-eared old woman — " isn't there some one 
thryin to get in ? Did you boult the passage- 
dour, comin' back from the stables, Misther 
Flannigan, my honey ?" 

" No," replied the butler, alarmed at the re- 
collection ; " I forgot id in my throuble." 

" Well, wait here," said the intrepid Knitter ; 
— " put the candle undher the biler, an' I '11 
stale asy, an' thry to boult it for ycu." 

A passage led to a door opening into the 
back-yard, and along its sides were other doors 
communicating with other apartments — the 
housekeeper's-room, the larder, the pantry, 
the servants'-hall, and servants' bed-chambers. 
Through this passage Nanny, ** widout makin' 
mooch noise wid her feet," alertly glided. Re- 
collecting the apartment into which Sir William 
Judkin had burst his way, she stopped a moment 
to turn the key in the back-door that opened 
into it ; and then, as well acquainted as the 
old black cat in the kitchen, with every step 
she should take, continued her progress in 
the dark. 



THE CROPPY. 67 

The noise which had at first alarmed her was 
but indistinctly heard, having occurred at the 
front of the house ; but, to her consternation, 
as she approached the back-door, the heavy 
latch was raised, and persons quickly entered. 
She crouched by the wall, near enough to hear 
some of their conversation, and the deeply-im- 
pressed tones of one of the speakers made her 
shiver with terror, for they were the same that 
once, under a certain lime-tree, when Nanny was 
detected in evesdropping, had threatened her 
with annihilation if she should ever again be si- 
milarly encountered. 

" All right, Sam !"" said the voice ; — " we 're 
in, as sure as the Divil is in Rathdowny — an' I 
b'lieve that's a thing there's little doubt about. 
Are the other boys comin'? — we must put a 
face on id, an' lay id all at the dour o' Whaley's 
yeomen." 

" They 're thryin at the shetthers abrood," 
answered he of the wooden-leg ; " I '11 have 'em 
in to you, wid a hop-step-an'-jump." 

Nanny heard Sam pass out into the yard : to 
hide herself was now her only thought. It was 
a case of life and death to her ; — self only could 
be considered. She did not, therefore, dream 
of stealing back with any intelligence to the 



Oo THE CROPPY. 

kitchen, but glided into the housekeeper's 
room, nearer at hand, so noiselessly, that even 
the acute and listening ear of Bill Nale heard 
not a stir. 

In this room was a very large chest, such as 
may yet be found in the possession of Irish 
housewives of the middHng class, who keep 
under one lock their wardrobe, their linen, their 
important papers, and sundry articles of value : 
and beneath its massive lid Mrs. Flannigan, 
sharing her husband's cares and duties, had 
deposited the plate belonging to Hartley Court, 
bedding it upon a quantity of house-linen. 
The reader is aware that, previous to Sir Wil- 
liam Judkin's visit to the house upon this 
evening, the old butler, his wife, and Nanny 
the Knitter, had been employed in conveying 
the treasure to a place of concealment. His 
loud knocking interrupted their task, and sent 
them to seek hiding-holes for themselves, but 
not before the greater number of the valuable 
articles had been safely disposed of. A few 
spoons, a pair of candlesticks, and some such 
matters, they did abandon, however, to he 
supposed intruders; and in their haste and 
panic also forgot to close the chest. The 
latter fact Nanny particularly recollected as 



THE CROPPY. 69 

she crept across the room. By some extra- 
ordinary contrivance she got into the place of 
refuge she had contemplated, pulled down the 
lid " azy, azy ;" it was fastened by a spring- 
lock, which instantly shot home ; and Nanny 
as instantly recollected that she was now a 
prisoner, perhaps for a longer time than she 
had reckoned on. 

Indeed, after vainly trying to raise the lid 
again, this thought startled the old dame al- 
most out of her sense of the danger she had 
incarcerated herself to avoid ; — but some noise 
through the house soon recalled her superior 
terrors of her persecutor; and then came the 
assurance of perfect obscuration from his dread- 
ed eye ; and she crouched down upon her couch 
of linen, quite resigned even to protracted im- 
prisonment, since by it she could escape the 
dark fate Bill Nale had, under certain condi- 
tions, promised her. 

With one ear at the keyhole, and her mouth 
wide open, as if through it also she hoped to 
admit sound, and her old withered heart smiting 
her ribs so forcibly that she could hear every 
blow, Nanny listened for a considerable time. 
At first, the noise through the house sank into 
silence ; then it arose again, faintly and remote, 



70 THE CROPPY. 

however, to her gaping ear ; then a second time 
died away ; and delusive Hope, who deceives, 
it may safely be asserted, as often as she points 
to reahty, whispered through the only breath- 
ing-hole of her prison, that Nanny had indeed 
escaped the fangs of the person whom, above 
all others in the world, she had reason to fear. 

Her heart moderated its assaults against her 
ribs. She stretched herself at full length on 
her couch, with something like a return of her 
usual sensations of comfort ; but, alas ! the 
clamour of voices, and the stamping of feet, 
now arose nearer than before ; they echoed 
through the vaulted passage leading to the 
room in which she had taken shelter ; closer 
and closer they came ; until at last, wdth sen- 
sations almost of dissolution, with faiHng breath 
and a steaming frame, she heard the door flung 
open, and persons rudely enter. 

*' Where have you put the pikes to hide, 
you old Crop.? — The house was full of 'em — 
we must find 'em afore we quit," said a voice, 
which, even under the disguise of an assumed 
tone, the wretched Knitter knew to be that of 
her enemy. And she at once guessed, recol- 
lecting the words she had before overheard in 
the passage, that he and his associates had 



THE CROPPy. 17 

assumed the garb of yeomen, in order to com- 
mit plunder with impunity. Such indeed was 
the case. The disguise could easily be ob- 
tained, nothing more being necessary than to 
strip the dead bodies of the loyal soldiers slain 
during the last few days; and by these means 
Nale and his gang came fully caparisoned as 
the King's adherents. 

" I have never looked on a pike since I was 
born, gentlemen — never, I declare honestly ; 
and there is not such a thing in the house, to 
my knowledge." 

" Ay, a purty story, that the ould Croppy 
wouldn't have the darthers ready for his men. 
What's in this big chest, you papish thief.?" 

" Only some linen." 

Nanny fervently wished the assertion were 
true. 

" We '11 soon know that ; — open id, this mo- 
ment ; — ay, it 's the very chest we were tould 
to look for 'em in." 

A pause ensued. Nanny then heard Nale 
say something in a growling accent, but his 
words escaped her; and then the old butler, 
speaking in a high voice, declared he had not 
the key, but would go to seek it. 

It is in vain we have put down our pen in 



72 THE CROPPY. 

the hope of selecting terms sufficiently forcible 
to describe Nanny's feelings, when she learned 
that the lid of her prison was to be raised, and 
her person revealed to view. It appeared evi- 
dent that Bill Nale expected to find a treasure 
in the chest — and oh ! what would be his rage, 
when he should discover only a miserable, 
trembling old woman, upon whom, without this 
additional cause for revenge, but merely as 
punishment for again meeting her in the cha- 
racter and situation of a listener to his private 
discourse, he had sworn to inflict a horrid 
death — in fact, for well did Nanny remember 
his words — " the death of an ould cat ?'' And 
if ever an " ould cat," past the days of for- 
giveness, felt beside herself with the terror 
of coming fate, when detected in the larder 
by the cook, devouring the rare morsel des- 
tined, above every thing else, to grace his mas- 
ter's table — if ever such poor offender gave 
herself up for lost, as the white-capped man of 
dishes, shutting the door behind him, entered 
just in time to scare her from the last mouthful 
of her meal — damning evidence of how the rest 
had been disposed of — and then, glaring alter- 
nately at the tell-tale fragment of the delicacy 
and at the detected glutton, advanced, knife in 



THE CROPPY. 7S 

hand, upon her — if, not daring to lick her hps 
in his presence, the cringing puss may be said 
to have experienced dreadful qualms of hor- 
ror, more violent, even than her sensations, 
were at this moment those of the unfortunate 
Nanny. 

She had raised herself, resting on one hand , 
to listen to the intruders. Now, with a very 
low but utterly despairing groan, she twisted 
her person around, sank on her knees and 
elbows, rested her teeming forehead on her 
death-cold hands, and — as she afterwards de- 
scribed it, when we questioned her on her state 
of mind during this severe trial — " her ould 
heart riz up to the root iv her tongue, an' 
she could count every ugh, ugh, ugh, it gave 
there, as plain as that" — rapping her knuckles 
against a table — " an' it went as fast too, my 
honeys'^ — and she repeated the knocks, about 
three to a second — " an' it was the very most 
I could do to keep swallyin id down, or into 
the poor mouth o' me it 'ud jump, purtect the 
hearers." 

*' Listen, Sam," said Rattling Bill, speaking, 
while the butler remained away, in his own 
undisguised voice, as he gave the chest a shake 
which caused the few articles of plate inside 

VOL. III. E 



74 THE CROPPY. 

to jingle, and sadly discomposed the position 
of the poor prisoner. 

'* By the deed, an' sure the lob is in id," 
answered Sam. 

" What keeps ould Flannigan ?" asked an- 
other voice, " hadn't we betther break it open ? 
The daylight 'ill soon be comin\" 

" Did you tackle the horse an' cart, as I bid 
you, Sam .?" questioned Nale. 

'^ It's ready., upon my word." 

" Well — the dawn is breakin', sure enough — 
an' it wouldn't do to be caught by the pikemen 
wid the King's coats on us,'^ resumed Bill ; 
" curse o' Cromwell on the day ! where is id 
coniin' so soon ? — But bear a hand here, my hear- 
ties, an' well whip chest an' all away, hoize it 
on the cart in the yard, smash it to bits in some 
soft place, an' then ye may burn the skeucks* 
an' spill out the tnurphiesf on silver dishes 
all the rest o' your lives." 

" That's the plan o' plans, by the deed!" 
concurred Sam ; " so, come." 

The men surrounded the chest ; and tliere 
was a general " here !" given, in that long ca- 
dence which is the signal for simultaneous ex- 

* Osier strainers. f Potatoes. 



THE CROPPY. to 

ertion. One end of it was raised, and Nanny 
slipped down to the other; — ''here again f 
the men piped, and she felt herself lifted up. 

" It's mortial heavy," observed one. 

" Hah !" laughed Nale, *' that 's the sign an' 
token that there's choicer stuff than feathers 
inside iv it. Listen again," as the plate con- 
tinued to jingle ; *' there's nate music, I Vlieve 
— nater nor the best o' pipes ever played ; 
' silver an' goold to thee I give,' says the 
priest." — 

The subdued laugh that followed this jocu- 
larity sounded at Nanny's ear as does the 
giggle of his torturer's to the benumbed yet 
terrified senses of the wretch who, in that not 
unreal state of suffering called night-mare, 
fancies himself gasping under the fantastic in- 
flictions of a score of fiends. 

As Sam had engaged, a cart and horse stood 
in the yard ready to receive the much-prized 
but ill- understood load. The groaning car- 
riers laid their fardel on the cart ; and Nanny 
judged, if judgment she could pretend to form, 
that a conversation ensued in very low tones 
between four persons. Then the cart went 
for some time rapidly along, over a rough 
road ; and many a jolt did she get, and often 
E 2 



/O THE CROPPY. 

did her poor head come in rude contact with 
the sides and ends of her moving dungeon. 
Then she concluded that the way became still 
more difficult ; for Nanny could feel that she 
travelled very slowly. 

And during this slackened progress she 
caught — very unwillingly, for the first time in 
her life — the continuation of a dialogue held 
between Nale and Sam, as they sat at different 
sides of the chest, and spoke in loud accents 
over it. From the free and confidential manner 
in which they interchanged some important 
opinions and allusions, Nanny concluded that 
they were now alone with their prize, and alas ! 
unsuspicious of the near espionage of that indi- 
vidual whom, above all that breathed, Nale had 
formerly seemed unwilling to admit into his se- 
crets ; and agony came with the thought, that 
this involuntary offence would surely add, at the 
proper moment, ruthless determination to Biirs 
revenge upon her person. 

" By my deed an' conscience!"" said Sam, " it 
was the hoith o' good loock that put him in your 
road.^' 

'* Hah ! — an' never mind one me for not 
missin* the wind fall. Never fear Bill Nale for 
makin* his milch-cow o' the rock o** sense, as 



THE CROPPY. 77 

people thinks Square Talbot to be. You know 
well, Sammy, we never want a shiner while his 
purse has a cross in id." 

" Threw enough, Bill; but who'd think that 
he 'd turn out sich a scape-grace, as well as sich 
a fool ; — he that all the world, too, took for a 
civil, honest fellow intirely." 

" By the livin' farmer ! I couldn't think it of 
him mysef, the first time I come across him ; — 
an' it isn't all out plain to me that I didn't bite 
him, widout knowin' id, some day or other, since 
we happened to be such friends together." 

" Bud, betuxt yoursef an' mysef, Billy, 
honey, isn't id a raal wondher, an' a thing wid- 
out sense in id, how he could go to turn hang- 
man upon Square Hartley ?" 

" No wondher at all, though I won't deny 
you what you say about the sense o' the mat- 
ther ; — it 's my notion he 'd go, neck-an'-heels, 
into the roastin' pit ; — you know where I mane, 
or, at laste you '11 know id one o' these days — 
bud I b'lieve he'd stand a week's fryin' in that 
place, jest to have a smile from Square Hart- 
ley's daughther the week afther ; an' he couldn't 
get near her, by hook or by crook, while the fa- 
ther lived. Why, Sam, if you seen how he 
bounced up when I showed him my crans for 



/O THE CKOrPY. 

noosin'' the old barrowknight ; — though, by the 
piper ! Sam, I never done a thing that went so 
hard aginst my grain as that ; he was a raal 
gintleman, so he was ; — bud, when the marriage 
come about, I couldn't do what I had to do 
any other way; — an' they have to blame them- 
selves; I tould 'em to dhrop the business, an' 
they wouldn't." 

" Who did you warn on the head iv id ?" 
" I sent a message to the daughther hersef, 
by that ould Tory, Nanny the Knitther ; bud it 
isn't clear to me that she said my words right 
foment Miss Hartley; — no matther — wait till 
we do what's in hand, an' then, maybe, I'd 
clap my paw on the ould thramper." 

Nanny felt no increase of comfort in her 
chest. 

" An' you helped Square Talbot so bravely, 
Bill, to lock up the sweetheart at last.?" 

The listener experienced, for an instant, some 
little interest apart from her own absorbing si- 
tuation. 

*' Yes, we done that for 'im. an' we done id 
hansome; she w^ent wid hearty good-will, think- 
in', by the hokey frost ! that she was goin' to 
meet the poor father ; — bud she must thravel a 
longer road afore she sees him agin." 



THE CROPPY. 79 

"* An' what road did she thravel that prasent 
time ?" 

" Jest to Square Talbot's new house, that 's 
near Dunbrody. You know id, Sam ; it 's on 
the hoigth afore you cross the pill, goin' to 
the ould abbey ; an' he 's only waitin' till we 
have the mackerony iv a husband she got the 
other day berred snug in the little church : 
an' then he'll make her marry him, in spite iv 
all the world. Them women are the divils, out- 
an'-out, Sammy, an' well I know id ; there isn't 
a livin' man on Ireland's ground able for Bill 
Nale ; bud ever since the day he was born, one 
woman or another crowed over him ; an' I b'lieve 
that 's a curosity. First, there was the ould, 
cross-grained mother o' me from the black 
North ; — well, she went her road, an' I thought 
I was a free man ; but then, the duoul puts id 
into the proud heart o' that great lady iv a wife 
I had to take a notion o' me, an' quit her fa- 
ther"'s grand house on a pillion at my back, when 
you and I, Sam, forged the rhaumaiish of a story 
about my gettin' her from the fairies, that all 
the sensible neighbours gave ear to." — 

" Yes, by my deed ! an' a nate, pleasant story 
it was ; bud her fine ladyship didn't stick to 
you long, Billy, my boy." 



80 THE CROPPY. 

"By the hokey frost! Sam, she's dhrivin' 
me still, — or else another woman for her, an' 
that's all the same thing." 

" And nothin' in the world 'ill do. Bill, bud 
to sthretch him in Dunbrody ?" 

" Nothin'; 'twas the first ordhers I got, as 
you ought to remember, Sam, by what you saw 
an' hard the night big Father Rourke tuck him 
out iv our hands; an', by the farmer ! betther 
he doesn't desarve, if it was only on account of 
his gettin' clear o' me so often. Why, only last 
night agin, Sam, we were cock-sure of him, when 
the girl let him out of Enniscorthy castle wid 
her own hands : — but naubocklish, I'll pin him, 
an' that soon, or I 'm not Bill Nale ; an' so 
enough said." 

" Bud tell us. Bill, how is Hartley's daugh- 
ther to be brought to marry the man that 
sthrung up her father, an' that 's to have a 
hand in murdherin her husband !" 

" How the duoul does Bill Nale know ? or 
what the duoul does Bill Nale care ? It 's my 
own business I'm doin', Sam Stick-leg, an' not 
Square Talbot's; though he 'd swear to any one 
'ud ax him that I was workin' neck-or-nothin' 
for him, an' for nobody else : — well, see what 
fools there's in the world ; an', in all my doins, 



THE CROPPY. 81 

the biggest fools I ever met were ever an' always 
chaps like him, that thought they had a power o' 
sense in their heads : only for one thing I 'd 
turn round on him, at the jingle of a purse, an' 
let poor Hartley's daughther have the sweet- 
heart she'd rather have ; bud she must do wid- 
out him to plase one that, I tell you once agin, 
rules Bill Nale as hard as his ould cantankerous 
cripple iv a mother, or his mighty grand lady iv 
a wife ever did." 

Nanny heard much more of the conversation 
of these worthies; and we had from her lips — 
for we found it impossible to stem her garrulity 
— materials sufficient to fill many additional 
pages ; but we feel no wish to report the words 
of such a character as Rattling Bill Nale far- 
ther than is absolutely unavoidable. 

For about an hour and a half Nanny con- 
tinued to jolt along in her very uncomfortable 
vehicle ; and although a great portion of the 
dialogue she overheard could not fail to impress 
itself upon her mind, still she never ceased to 
regard the unhappy circumstance of her being 
a listener to it as, using her own words, an ad- 
ditional " nail in her coffin ;" and her whole 
journey was therefore spent in despairing anti- 
cipations of the fate which awaited her. 
E 5 



82 THK CROPPY. 

Three different ways she employed herself 
as the cart jogged and rattled over the broken 
road. With her ears she took in tlie terrific 
information it was none of her wish to acquire ; 
through her whole frame she shuddered at the 
inevitable death in store for her at the hands 
of a man who had proclaimed himself Sir Wil- 
liam Judkin's murderer, and, almost in the same 
breath, marked lier out as another sheep for the 
slaughter; and during this mixture of listening, 
despairing, and chattering, her lips moved with 
all the rapid flippancy of long practice, and of 
her habitual gossiping, softly articulating, once 
and again, the round of prayers to which for a 
whole life they had been accustomed, and which 
they could pronounce, letter by letter, without 
much inconvenience to the agency of the mind, 
and indeed, with only a vague idea of devotion 
accompanying the process. More fervent, be- 
cause more extemporaneous, ejaculations for 
mercy occasionally broke up, however, lier 
parrot-like orisons, as some tremendous view of 
her doom caused her to give an extraordinary 
cringe, and more freely drove out the cold 
moisture through the pores of her fleshy fore- 
head. 



THE CROPPY. SS 

At length the cart halted. She would have 
preferred that it should jolt and shake her 
until doomsday. She and her encasement 
were gently shoved off the vehicle, and came 
with a shock to the ground ; and then, scarce 
conscious, she expected the moment of her 
fate ; yet, partly by an unwilled warping of her 
features, partly from an instinct that the most 
abject of all abject prayers for mercy was her 
sole hope, sho-t of a miracle from above, 
Nanny lay, prepared for the rising of the lid, 
utter humility and penitence in her attitude 
and face, and the words of a heart-rending peti- 
tion ready to burst from her lips, while the 
" ugh, ugh," of her heart increased to a gal- 
loping vibration. 

The lid, however, was not so quickly raised. 
She became half aware that an unexpected 
pause occurred between her and her last trial. 
Then the voices of Nale and Sam were distin- 
guished by her ears, at first conveying no words 
to the failing sense; but gradually the poor 
Knitter rallied into sufficient self-possession to 
hear what follows :— 

" They ought to be here wid the hommer 
by this time, if they come by the short cut." 



84 THE CROPPY. 

" Falx, an' so they ought — bad manners to 
Vm when they do come. An** I hope they '11 
meet their reward." 

*' What 's the rason you say that, Sammy ?" 
questioned Nale, with a grin of intelligence. 

" By the deed, how bad they are in want of 
silver dishes for their praties ; it 's a great sin 
to give sich dacent things into their paws, Bill 
Nale/' 

^' Nauhocklish, if we don't have the biggest 
share, Sam ; supposin' 'em to the foure, you an' 
I, lad, must get the first haul."" 

** Yoursef, by coorse. Bill, afore me." 

''Yes,— I think the first thing that's to be 
saized on, 'ill be Bill Nale's, any how." 

" Ay, by the deed, to make pipe-stoppers of 
id, if you like." 

Ail this was keen cutting to the poor "first 
thing that was to be saized on." 

*' Faix an' deed, an' we b'lieve this 'ill smash 
the thick schull of id, an' let us never mind the 
hommer,'' said Sam, approaching with a large 
stone between his hands: "there now," laying 
his burden on the chest, mounting after it, and 
again raising and poising it over the middle cf 
the lid, — and certainly, had he let it drop, not 
only would the " schull,'' of the massive coffer 



THE CROPPY. 85 

have been stove in, but the skull of our old 
friend along with it. 

But Nale, casting his watchful eye to the 
brow of a neighbouring height, called out — 

" Hould your hand, Sam ; pitch it on the 
ground." 

The authoritative tone of his chief, Sam 
durst not disobey, and the stone was accordingly 
flung wide of the original mark. Nanny after- 
wards visited the spot, and found the huge 
piece of rock bedded deep in the soil ; and the 
poor old woman knelt at its side, and offered up 
very fervent thanksgivings, that it had not 
descended as was at first planned ; for, if it had, 
it must have " m.ade poor ould Nanny, my 
honey, as flat as a pancake." 

" Stop, Sam ; I see four or five pikemen 
crossin' the ridge, on their way to the croppies' 
camp, I 'm thinkin'— jump down and hide here 
wid me ; if they meet us in our yeoman clothes, 
we 're gone men. 

The two rascals stooped on hands and knees 
by the side of the chest turned from the height. 
Nanny piously prayed that the croppy detach- 
ment might quickly descend to the by-road 
with good pikes in their hands. She was dis- 
a])pointed. Taking off his warlike helmet, and 



86 THE CROPPY. 

using just one eye round the angle of her 
dungeon, Nale soon ascertained that the wan- 
dering peasants were passing out of view with- 
out having noticed the horse and cart, or the 
important article which lay near to both. 

" We must jest wait for the hommer afther 
all," resumed Nale, when it was prudent to 
arise from his crouching position ; " or folly me 
down here, for a start, Sam, an" I'll tell you 
more o' the matther." 

Nanny heard them walk away, and the rest of 
their conversation was lost to her ear. But the 
reader may proceed after them a few steps to 
the brink of a sand-pit, and then down its 
abrupt side, until at the bottom of the excava- 
tion he hears Nale resume. 

" The mornin"* is too bright, Sam, to pull 
out the ould silver dishes in a place that many 
more people may soon cum upon. Besides, 
the young schamp I want to lay hould on is 
gone to Enniscorthy town, an' I must obey 
ordhers, and be off to keep an eye on him — 
an** more be token agin, you must dhrive the 
horse an' cart towards Dunbrody wid this other 
little thrunk, in no time, as I tould you last 
night — don't daare to look glum at me now, 



THE CROPPY. 87 

bud listen how it 'ill be. You see this hole — 
pointing almost to his feet — " where the great 
lob o' pikes were put to hide, afore the risin'; 
we'll jest shuv the chest down here, an' cover 
id wid the sand, an' when the night falls agin, 
we '11 come back an' smash it, betuxt our- 
selves, nate an' quiet ; an' when Morrissy an' 
Redmond walks this way wid the hommer, ex- 
pectin' their share, why they can have what 
the cat left o' the bacon, you know. So help 
a hand, Sammy, an' none o' your foolish looks, 
I bid you." 

Nanny soon caught their returning steps. 
Then she became av/are that, with much la- 
bour and difficulty, they dragged her and her 
prison some little distance forward ; and then, 
as they allowed their lumber to find its own 
way to the bottom of the pit, it was well for 
her that it had been massively constructed, and 
bound with iron plates at the corners, or surely 
it must have burst open from the violence of 
its abrupt descent ; and it was likewise fortu- 
nate for Nanny that she had little room to jolt 
from one end to the other ; for, although occu- 
pying nearly the whole extent of her dark dun- 
geon, her head and her foxy hat struck so 



88 THE CROrPY. 

smartly against the end which first rushed 
downward, that consciousness momentarily de- 
parted from her. 

She regained her senses at experiencing a 
second terrible shock through her entire frame, 
caused by the sudden lowering of the chest 
into the deep hole to which, until the return 
of night, Nale had destined it. Not having 
heard the last communication between the two 
knaves, she could not remotely calculate the 
nature of her late hideous evolutions. In 
vague horror, alone, she remained just sensible 
of a sudden plunge from the surface of the 
earth ; but whither, or for what purpose, was 
impervious and astounding mystery ; for aught 
she could tell, the earth might have opened 
and swallowed her, a thousand fathom deep, 
or she might have fallen fronr its verge Into 
the terrors of the other world. 

But, after rallying her powers of observation, 
she soon decided that nothing so very fearful 
had happened to her. A dripping, grating 
noise sounded on the lid of — it may now be 
called, her coffin — and once more she heard 
Nale saying, " A little 'ill do, Sam ; jest as 
mooch as hides the top, an' then these bushes 



THE CROPPY. S9 

an' briars 'ill keep it berred as snug as my ould 
gran mammy." 

" Berred !" — cogitated Nanny. 

" There," he continued, and the noise of 
throwing the sand upon her ceased — " there ; 
that 's clane an' purty ; — an' now come, Sam, 
an' we can make out a hommer for ourselves." 

They left her, already stifling and gasping, 
to decide which death she would choose, suffo- 
cation in her premature grave, or braining with 
the hammer, if indeed she outlived their re- 
turn, short as must be the time she concluded 
they would stay away. And no doubt poor 
Nanny's sufferings had soon ended in the man- 
ner first mentioned, but for a providential and 
yet only natural interference. 

Redmond and Morissy, the two associates 
despatched by Nale from Hartley Court, to 
provide the heavy hammer for breaking open 
the chest, were not without their doubts of his 
intentions to deal fairly by them. BilPs well- 
known, and indeed undisguised, character war- 
ranted such suspicions; and the men came to 
positive conchisions when he directed them to 
proceed to a certain spot, by a route different 
from that he proposed to take himself, with 



90 THE CROPPY. 

the horse and cart. His pointing it out as a 
short cut did not allay their fears of his con- 
summate knavery and selfishness. They com- 
municated their ideas to each other, and re- 
solved upon a counter-plot. Leaving him, in 
seeming willingness to procure the sledge, they 
returned quickly in his track, dogged the 
horse and cart stealthily during its whole 
journey, concealed themselves when it halted, 
overheard the treacherous conversation about 
themselves between Bill and Sam " with the 
stick-leg," (the only name or appellation we 
could discover as attaching to that very doubtful 
individual,) watched the subsequent proceed- 
ings of the worthies, and, the moment they 
were fairly out of view after interring Nanny, 
the men came forward, one of them at least 
determined to act a brave part. 

Having previously arranged in their place 
of concealment, to go to work promptly, they 
scrambled in silence down the steep pit, and 
began to remove, without speaking a word, the 
bushes and sand from the lid of the chest. 
The poor buried alive was recalled, by the 
noise, to the exercise of nearly the last mental 
observation she remained capable of making. 
She lay on her knees and elbows, her mouth 



THE CROPPY. 91 

open, and her head moving up and down to 
every painful gasp of the thick air which she 
laboured to force through her lungs. But 
although the noise slightly restored her to a 
sense of existence, it by no means communi- 
cated a hope that existence was to be prolonged 
a single instant after the opening of her coffin ; 
for Nanny believed she was still in the hands 
of her cruel enemy. Heavy blows succeeded 
to the former scraping and shuffling over her 
head, each skilfully directed by Dick Red- 
mond, so as to force the lid upwards : thev 
were successful ; it half opened ; there was a 
rush of warm vapour from within, and a rush 
of pure atmosphere from without, of which 
Nannv took a lonor, renovating; draught ; but 
with lier rallied feeling of life came instanta- 
neously her horror of what she had at last to 
encounter ; and in the useless instinct of avoid- 
ing the eye of her executioner, she quickly 
resumed her squatted position, and drew her 
head as closely to her body as she could, — the 
head of her cloke slipping, with the long-prac- 
tised jerk, over her ears, — as the tortoise, 
which in her present attitude she much re- 
sembled, will, in case of attack, draw the most 
exposed part of his body under his shell. 



9^ THE CROPPY. 

" Now for id, Daniel, my daisy," cried Dick 
Redmond, as in high spirits he flung wide the lid 
of the chest. Nanny heard him not. He peeped in 
— he opened his eyes: he stared again ; but could 
not attach any certain idea of form or of nature 
to the object that met his view. Daniel, who all 
along had been suffering under the fear of Bill 
Nale's future wrath on account of the course he 
dared to pursue in this adventure, and whose 
misgiving heart finally relinquished every hope 
of escaping detection by a man he believed well- 
known to the devil, if he was not the devil him- 
self; — Daniel remained rather in the background ; 
his tremours only relieved by a covetous anticipa- 
tion of the sweet jingling sounds that he con- 
cluded were to meet his ear, and the shining 
and splendid treasures that lie thought were to 
dazzle his eye. 

" Is there mooch ?'' he timidly asked, while 
his companion still stared into the chest. 

*' Sing toij oi , iddle-dee, toi, i, ee. 

" Hah, hahj hah, fol, dhe-too-rol-lee!" 

answered his more vivacious comrade, singing 
the chorus of a merry song, of which each verse 
presented some droll idea, subsequently enjoyed 
in the " hah, hah, hah !'' 



THE CROPPY. 93 

" Don't let the soighth iv id make you take 
lave o' your senses, Dick/' resumed Daniel, now 
advancing. 

" Well, there's no use in talkin', Bill Nale," 
Dick went on ; " you are the biggest rogue 
that ever was hanged ; if this is not makin' 
gandhers iv us, divil a gandher in the world, 
but all grey geese ;" and Redmond seemed 
highly to enjoy the supposed jest. 

^^ Arrah, what's come over you.'^" questioned 
the serious Daniel Morrissy. 

" Musha, Daniel, my poor fellow, however 
the duoul he done id, Rattlin' Bill Nale dhrew 
every bit o' the threasure through the boards o' 
the chest, either while we turned off a minute 
or so, purtendin to go for the hommer, or at 
the very time we thought we were watch- 
in' him along the road— by coorse, the bouchal 
had the kay unknownst to any body — an' see 
here — here's what he laves for yoursef and 
mysef — a bundle iv ould rags, not worth a 
Keenogue ; an' all the time he an' Sam talked 
iv chatin us, they knew we were widin hearin', 
an' the whole o' that talk was jest to make us 
think they left the threasure behind 'em. Well, 
Bill, you 're a deary iv a bird." 

" Bud isn't id like an ould bag o' blue cloth .''" 



94 THE CROPPY. 

asked Daniel, at length peering in ; " an' may- 
be the goold an' silver is inside iv id." 

" By gonnies, maybe so ! thry." 

Daniel cautiously laid his hand on our still 
crouching friend ; she gave a painful moan, and 
feebly moved her head. 

" Oh-a — oh-a ! what the duoul is that.?" 
cried Daniel, jumping backward. 

" What ! did the bag bite you .?" 

" It 's alive — it 's himself is in id, I b'lieve,'' 
whispered the superstitious fellow. 

«' Who .?— Nale .?" 

" Yes, his ownsef ; it 's as likely as any." 

" Bother, Daniel," laughed Dick ; " bud 
stop — supposin** it is, 1 11 see how he '11 take a 
clipe o' this hommer by way o' payment for 
chatin us ;" and he stepped to the chest. 

^^ I'm a poor ould lump iv a sinner, my 
honey pet," petitioned Nanny, with a face of 
the most wretched intreaty that ever sinner 
wore, as she was raised from her position of 
terror and vain concealment by the athletic 
arms of Dick Redmond — '^ I 'm a poor ould 
lump iv a sinner, my honey pet," she re- 
peated, still imagining she addressed another 
person, — " an' may the marcies meet your 
clarlin"* sowls in glory above, an' give marcy 



THE CFtOPPY. 95 

to ould Nanny this day — may loock an' grace 
come peltin' an' powrin in your road every 
day you get up from your bed ; may hard 
fort'n be broke afore you — an' may riches 
galore* be rainin' on you, till you won't know 
what to do wid id !" — 

^' Why, then, tundher-an'-bloody-wars !" 
cried Dick Redmond, utterly amazed, — nay, 
very nearly frightened as he looked into the 
agonized face he held up to his own view, — 
'^ an' is this you, ould Nanny the Knitther?" — 
" Ah, then it is, God help me !^' she answer- 
ed, in a voice wonderfully changed and assured 
at the blessed conviction that she was not in 
the gripe of her persecutor ; and now, Nanny 
had got on ^^ her hunkers," and, with her 
hands closely clasped, waved from side to side, 
— " an' thanks for ever be to the holy Name, 
isn't id the honey darlin' Dick Redmund I 'm 
spakin to ?" — 

An explanation ensued. Dick relished the 
joke exceedingly. 

^' An' by rason you once sthrove to get me 
a good wife, ould Nanny — 'twas no fault o' 
year's that she turned out conthrary — you done 
your best — I '11 help you out o' your coff'n, 

* In abundance. 



96 



THE CROPPY. 



afore Bill Nale comes back — there/' placing her 
on the ground — " an** taste this, to rise your 
heart/' — administering some whiskey out of a 
small viol — " an' now, run for your life while 
your legs 'ill last." 

Nanny acted on the advice as strenuously 
as she was able. In pity to the old creature, 
Dick assisted her up to the edge of the 
sand-pit. 

^^ Good bye, my honey pet, an' the Lord 
grant you your reward in glory for ever, amin, 
— an' my honey, Dick Redmond, when • you 
come across him, there'll be no use in tellin' 
him what kind iv a load he had the throuble o' 
carry in' so far." 

" Never fear, Nanny — say nothin' about us, 
an' we '11 say nothin"* about you — it's the best 
play to keep sacrets on both sides — an' so, take 
your heels while you can." 

Though much bruised and battered, as well 
as exhausted, the rejoicing dame literally set 
forward at a pace between a trot and an amble, 
Dick shouting after her — 

" Run, your sowl, run ! he 's afther you ! 
he '11 have you if you don't put the stumps to 
the best o' their knowledge !" — 

But little additional exhortation was required 



THE CROPPY. 97 

to keep Nanny at her utmost speed in an effort 
to remove, as far as possible, from the scene of 
her direful troubles. Mumblino^ thanksmvings 
at every step, she panted and perspired along ; 
and, at the very first opportunity, turned off the 
road, and made her way over intricate paths, 
and through the most lonesome places, towards 
a friend's cabin — the nearest at hand, no matter 
which — for where was the cabin under whose 
iiumble roof Nanny had not a friend ? 

The house of refuge appeared in view. She 
slackened her pace, drew breath, and began 
somewhat distinctly to cogitate. Now that her 
own life seemed respited at least, if not quite in 
her possession, thoughts of the information, as 
to the fate of ^' Lady Eleezabeth Judkin, bar- 
rowknight," gleaned from the conversation of 
Nale and his associate, arose in her mind, and 
with them a really disinterested anxiety to suc- 
cour her captive patroness. *^ The honey Sir 
Wilham, too !" must she not exert herself to save 
him from the terrible fate with which he Mas 
threatened ? — Doubtless, the danger of " makin' 
or meddlin'," was great ; it seemed little less than 
wilfully precipitating herself into some dilemma 
as fearful, and perhaps more fatal, than that 
from which she had just escaped. But suffering 

VOL. III. F 



98 THE CROPPY. 

seemed to make Nanny's heart magnanimous. 
'^ What good was her ould end of a life," when 
put in competition with that of her beloved 
young *•' bennyfacther/' and Sir WiUiam Jud- 
kin.P God would guard her — or, if it was ^' the 
holy an' blessed Will" that she must suffer, 
" why, then" — and tears of sympathy with her 
kind, and even with her own forgotten nature, 
purer than for twenty 3^ears she had shed, ob- 
scured the old woman's eyes, — " why, then, 
Nanny's part 'ill be gone through, an' that 's 
all." 

The result of her determination will be found 
developed in a future chapter. 



THE CROPPY. 99 



CHAPTER IV 

While Nanny arranges her plans, we are at 
liberty to visit our heroine in the house to 
which, as we have learned, through the Knitter''s 
agency, from Bill Nale's conversation with his 
worthy confidant, Captain Talbot had caused 
her to be conveyed. Indeed, it seems our duty 
to accompany her thither ; — nay, recollecting the 
imperfect accounts of her motions supplied to 
Sir William Judkin, first by '' the poor girl wid 
the good karacthers," and next by Miss Ahcia 
Hartley, a plain detail of all her adventures, 
from the moment she left her father's mansion, 
immediately after her marriage, is called for at 
our hands. 

Until that day, Ehza Hartley — as, notwith- 
standing her increased consequence in the world, 
we shall, with the familiarity of an old acquaint- 
ance, continue to call her — until that day, Eliza 
Hartley had never known real sorrow. Beloved 
F 2 



100 THE CROFPY. 

by her father, petted by her aunt, adored by 
her servants, flattered by all her friends^ life 
had been to her a time of continued sunshine, 
a season of laughter merely, during which she 
never laid her head on her pillow with a thought 
for the morrow, unless, indeed, it might have 
been an anticipation of some little pleasure, of 
which the enjoyment should be deferred until 
daylight again smiled on Hartley Court. Had 
Nature formed her heart of indifferent mate- 
rials, an existence of such unchastened happi- 
ness, — nay, of almost unrestrained self-indul- 
gence, might have proved dangerous to the de- 
velopment of her character: haughtiness, ob- 
stinacy, and indolent pride, might have resulted 
from it ; above all, mental strength and energy 
might have been frittered away amid idle pur- 
suits, and the fuss of petty whims and impulses. 
But Eliza's heart was shaped in the mould of 
perfect feminine goodness ; and great vivacity, 
and a gaiety that seemed like levity, but was 
not what it seemed, appeared the only distinct 
impress made upon her character by a course of 
life under which other women would have be- 
come unamiable. True, her gaiety often pro- 
voked more severe criticism from unfriendly or 
envious tongues ; and we, her best friends, must 



THE CROPPY. 101 

admit that, hitherto, it had occasionally caused 
her to act without thought, or, obeying the im- 
pulse of a moment, to fling aside something she 
really prized for a chace after something that 
could but momentarily fill her fancy, and was 
not calculated, upon reflection, to content her 
nature. Still we cannot bring ourselves to be 
very harsh on her only fault ; for if she was 
gay because fortune treated her too indulgently, 
she was so too, because she was innocent — inno- 
cent in mind, in feeling, in the unconsciousness 
of a single thought that could make her other- 
wise; and, 

" The innocent are gay." 

Upon the morning, therefore, when Eliza 
changed her name, and with it saw herself 
driven from the sunny paths over which she 
had previously tripped in a round of unbroken 
enjoyment, adversity did not find in the spoiled 
child of fortune a weak girl who could do no- 
thing but tremble or rail at the vicissitude. 
On the contrary, there suddenly appeared in 
Eliza a courage and promptitude fitted for the 
occasion, of which the principles, eternal within 
her breast, had hitherto slumbered, only because 
they had never needed to show themselves. In 



102 THE CROPPY. 

one hour she passed out of the playfulness 
almost of childhood into the steady energy of a 
woman, who, for the sake of those that loved 
her, and that she loved in return, was prepared 
to dare much without fear, and to suffer all 
without repining. 

Having dried her vain tears, and put off her, 
as vain, bridal garments, the first impression of 
her now thoughtful mind convinced her that 
the preliminary step to any effort she might be 
called on to make, ought to consist in seeking a 
conference with her father and her husband. 
With a deep composure, which surprised all 
around her, she bade adieu to her bridesmaids, 
ordered her carriage to the door, and preceded 
by her aunt, who involuntarily acknowledging 
her right to act, and her power to protect, pe- 
titioned not to be left behind, Eliza slowly 
ascended the step, and desired to be driven to 
the castle of Enniscorthy. 

It did not occur to her that she might be 
refused admittance. Hitherto, wherever she 
had gone, Eliza had found officious eagerness 
smoothing the way before her. The carriage 
stopped before the entrance-gate of the tempo- 
rary prison ; she dismounted, and requesting 
her aunt to wait for her return, drew her veil 



THE CROPPY. 103 

over her face, in order to disguise it from the 
bold stare of a group of yeomen assembled 
near at hand. Not thinking it necessary to ask 
permission to pass, she was entering the gate, 
when the rude and ill-clad sentinel, lowering*" 
his rusty musket and bayonet, abruptly de- 
manded, " Who are you, an' where are you 
dhrivin .?" 

She stepped back, shocked at the interrup- 
tion. It was the first rudeness that had ever 
been offered to her. But the quickly curbed 
tears which started to her eyes did not spring 
from mortified vanity ; their source lay higher, 
in the apprehension, that from those whom she 
came to serve, and whom she felt she could 
serve, her presence was interdicted. 

Regaining her carriage, and taking a mo- 
ment to think, Eliza spoke from the window, 
desiring that some officer who had authority to 
admit her might be sent out. The sentinel took 
no notice whatever of her request, or rather 
command, and the unoccupied band of yeomen 
only stared more boldly than before, some of 
them leering and winking on each other. With 
mock respect in his tone and manner, one of 
them at length answered that her ladyship's 
orders should be obeyed : in consequence of his 



104j the croppy. 

delivery of the message inside, an officer ad- 
vanced, however, to the carriage, and Eliza 
shrank back in horror and despair, when in that 
officer she recognized Talbot. His step was 
not firm, his lips were white, his eyes quailed 
even beneath her veiled glance, with, as Eliza 
believed, the cowardice of conscious guilt. 

" I have the honour to await your commands, 
Madam/' he said, after standing some time un- 
noticed by her at the door of the carriage. 

" I understand. Sir,"" she forced herself to 
reply, " that I must demand permission from 
some one in authority to go in to see my father 
and my husband." 

" It is indeed necessary that you should do so. 
Madam," he answered, in a calmer voice than 
that in which he had at first spoken ; as if the 
hauteur of her address had brought back the 
unwincinff sternness of his nature. 

" Then, Sir, please to order yonder saucy 
fellow to let me pass." 

" I regret, Madam, that your wish cannot be 
complied with." 

" What, Sir !"— and she started up from her 
leaning position in undisguised terror, — '* are 
Sir Thomas Hartley and Sir William Judkin to 



THE CROPPY. 105 

be shut up from the visits of the daughter and 
the wife?'' 

" Yes, Madam ; such must be the case." 

" Impossible, Sir ! — send your commanding- 
officer hither." 

" Excuse me, Madam, — but, in this instance, 
there is no one to contravene my orders." 

" Your orders. Sir ! — and these inhuman 
orders emanate from you !" 

" They are my orders, Madam." 

" God help me, then ! — and God help the 
poor prisoners left at your mercy !''— She again 
sank back in an agony of despair, and, covering 
her face with her hands, deep and long moans 
escaped her. 

Captain Talbot seemed suddenly touched ; 
— he trembled ; — he approached closer to the 
window, and, in a faltering voice, too low to be 
heard by Miss Alice, said — 

" Oh ! why have you not come alone ? — why, 
this moment, can we not speak fully together ? 
— Ehza! beloved Eliza!" 

She interrupted him ; — starting as if an adder 
had whispered at her ear, and flung back her 
veil, that, with an eye authoritative and stern, 
and now not moist with a single tear, she might 
regard him. 

F 5 



106 THE CROPPY. 

" Wretch ! — wretch, as well as villain, leave 
my sight !" 

He stood irresolutely. She peremptorily 
waved her hand, repeating — " Begone — be- 
gone !" He was about to obey, apparently 
shrinking from her presence. 

" Stop, Captain Talbot !" cried the weeping 
Miss Alice. Eliza again hid her face, but she 
did not interrupt her aunt. Although, in her 
present mood, she could not bend her own out- 
raged spirit to sue to Talbot, the object to be 
prayed for was worth some humiliation. 

'' Oh ! Captain Talbot," petitioned the sob- 
bing old lady, clasping her hands together, 
" surely you will not be so cruel as to refuse us 
this favour ? I know, I know you will not — 
you will have pity on us — us, two ladies whom 
you often sat with at the fireside, and who are 
as unused to beg any favour, as they are unable 
to bear the great misery that now visits them. 
Oh ! take our thanks, our hearts'* thanks, and 
admit us to comfort the poor prisoners !" 

EHza slowly let her hands fall, and gazed 
upon her former lover, to note the effect of this 
appeal in his features. But his brow only 
seemed knit into its purpose; all his former 



THE CROPPY. 107 

apparent vacillation was gone, and he carelessly, 
but steadily, replied — 

" Madam^ I can only repeat the regret I feel, 
that duty obliges me to — '^ 

" Drive to the inn !" cried Eliza, again in- 
terrupting him. As the carriage turned away, 
he bowed profoundly, and quickly re-entered 
the gate. 

For a time, Ehza's pride, energy, hope, and 
resolution, quite failed her, and, on the way to 
the inn, she indulged, along with her aunt, in a 
shower of bitter tears. Agony and despair rent 
her bosom. She had felt, and she continued to 
feel within her, a resolution to brave any danger 
in the performance of whatever effort her husband 
and her father might suggest as necessary to 
their safety ; but that, by this refusal to admit 
her to their presence, she could not direct her 
zeal, her devotion, and her firmness, upon any 
course of which they might aoprove, or which 
might be beneficial, Avas an overwhelming- 
thought. And her feelings gained their height, 
wdien she farther reflected on tne nature of the 
charo^e under which her father and her husband 
had been imprisoned ; — on the fate that awaited 
them if that charge could be established ; or. 



108 THE CROPPY. 

amid the blind fury of the time, even made to 
look plausible ; on the promptitude with which 
punishment would follow conviction ; and, above 
all, on the ominous success which had so far 
attended their enemy's measures, and which, 
calculating by the power he seemed to wield, 
and the savage determination he still evinced, 
appeared but a presage of his complete triumph, 
and of Ehza's utter misery. 

Gaining the inn, while filled with these 
thoughts, it was only natural that, strong in 
previous energy and resolution, as we have 
described her to have been, Eliza should sink, 
momentarily overpowered, by the woman's fears 
and pangs for those she loved, and by profound 
despair on her own account. 

Miss Alicia, although in the first instance 
helplessly overpowered, wanted, luckily for her- 
self, the ardency of feeling that makes a wreck 
of the youthful bosom ; for, with the decay of 
physical capacity to struggle, Nature^ deadens 
the susceplibihties of age. Keeping up, there- 
fore, only her strain of impotent lamentation, 
she could now administer some necessary com- 
fort to her almost insensible niece ; and in this 
view she rang the bell, when the girl " wid the 
good karacthers" answered it. 



THE CROPPY. 109 

About twilight, having often and vainly sent 
in the meantime to gather intelhgence of the 
proceedings at the castle, Eliza was roused 
from her despondency, by the intelligence that a 
person wished to speak with her on important 
business. The only important business con- 
cerning which, in her mind, any one could 
desire an interview, must refer to the situation 
of her father and her husband ; and she 
accordingly desired the visitor to be admitted. 

A woman of tall stature, muffled and hooded 
in the common Irish mantle, but not more 
carefully or remarkably than it is often worn, 
entered the chamber, and stopping almost at 
the threshold, addressed our heroine in a low, 
controlled voice. 

" You are the daughter of Sir Thomas 
Hartley ?" 

'' I am." Eliza could utter no more, for the 
solemnity of the stranger, in deportment as 
well as in accent, although her face did not be- 
come discernible, conveyed anticipations of sad 
tidings to be spoken. 

" I would converse with you, Madam,*" con- 
tinued the woman impressively. 

" Begin then." 

•* Alone." 



110 THE CKOPPY. 

*' This lady is my aunt,'' said Eliza. 

" It matters not ; no third person must share 
our interview, and the business I come to com- 
municate requires immediate attention, Madam." 

" Indeed, my good woman," pleaded Miss 
Alicia, " if you come to say any thing concerning 
the dear prisoners at the castle, it v/ill be cruelty 
to exclude me from the conversation." 

"You judge correctly. Madam; my commu- 
nication relates to them, but only to Miss Hart- 
ley can it be made ; you may hear it from her, 
not from me : such are my directions, and I 
cannot and will not permit an exception." 

" Are you aware that I am Sir Thomas 
Hartley's sister ?" 

"Yes, Madam, but that is nothing to the 
purpose. I perceive your niece grows uneasy 
at our delay, — please to leave us together." 

" Do so, dearest aunt, for indeed I am on the 
rack to learn what this woman has tu say to me."" 

" You will not exclude me long ?"" again peti- 
tioned Miss Alicia. 

'*Only so long as is absolutely necessary for 
the punctual delivery of my commission, Ma- 
dam ; I am as anxious as you can be to have 
the matter over, for pressing affairs call me to 
another place." 



THE CROPPY. Ill 

Miss Alicia retired, but only to the next 
apartment; and there, strong were her yearn- 
ings to listen at the door to the discourse in 
which she had been denied a share ; but her 
high and pure sense of honour struggled with her 
feminine, and, under her circumstances, almost 
allowable curiosity, and finally she rejected the 
temptation. 

It would have done her no good had she 
yielded, however ; for, the moment she passed 
out of the chamber, the woman latched and 
bolted the door, and, stepping somewhat nearer 
to Eliza, held out a letter in her hand, as she 
said — 

" This, Madam, is for you, and from your 
father." 

'^ From my father !" cried EHza, snatching 
it, her whole attention diverted from the person 
of the bearer. 

" Even so. Madam. It may seem strange in 
your eyes that a person of my appearance should 
be employed to hand you so important a docu- 
ment — one, indeed, upon the safe conveyance of 
which you will learn much depends ; but, in 
the present times, the person least likely to be 
suspected was the most proper to be chosen, 
and I am therefore its bearer. Read it, Madam, 



112 THE CROPPY. 

and read it quickly ; turn round to the window, 
and there is yet dayHght enough for the perusal 
— time will be lost by calling for candles." 

EHza quickly adopted the hint, and with all 
the eagerness of hope and fear ran over the 
contents of the epistle, which were as follows : — 

" MY DEAREST CHILD, 

" I find that a deeply laid plan has for some 
time been preparing, chiefly by one desperate 
individual, to get up some plausible evidence 
of a connexion between me and the insurgents, 
in order that I may be dealt with as a traitor to 
the State ; and I fear too, my dearest Eliza, 
that from the short time allowed me for my 
defence, as well as from the fact that I have to 
encounter private malignity at the hands of 
every one around me, it will be impossible to 
establish my innocence of the unfounded charge. 

^' But check your rising terrors. I would 
not so abruptly communicate this intelligence, 
did I think that the results were to be fatal 
to me. Let me assure you, that except a tem- 
porary shade upon my character, and a short 
separation from you, I have really nothing to 
fear. My arbitrary judges may indeed de- 
clare me guilty, and more, may sentence me 



THE CROPPY. 113 

to death, but their sentence will not be exe- 
cuted upon your father. I am positively cer- 
tain of escaping it. From them indeed, or 
from one of their party, I expect no mercy ; 
but Almighty Providence, the friend, of the 
innocent, has raised up a champion for us in 
our great trouble, Eliza. We are to be saved — 
you as well as I — (and you from worse than 
the fate to which I am nominally doomed,) by 
a person, the last upon earth we could have 
calculated on for such a service. I cannot ven- 
ture to insert his name ; for if I did, and if my 
note miscarried, his destruction as well as mine 
were inevitable. Enough, that I fully and 
tranquilly depend not only upon his friendship, 
but upon the plans he has formed for my 
safety. This niglit I shall be freed from prison, 
and before the morning dawns shall be in a 
place of concealment beyond the reach of my 
enemies, where I am to remain only while our 
friend causes powerful application to be made 
to Government for a speedy reversal of my 
sentence; then, my character justified, and my 
person safe, I can resume my station in society. 
" Now, attend, Ehza. All this is not only 
possible, but certain, provided you unhesitat- 
ingly adopt a specific advice, which I am about 



114 THE CROPPY. 

to offer you : — decline that advice, or even dally 
with it, and our ruin is not less certain. But, 
first, a few words of explanation. 

" I have said tlxat you also were threatened 
with a terrible fate — one more terrible than 
that prepared for me. This is but too true. 

It has been attempted to seduce you to 1 will 

not — cannot write any more positive allusion to 
the diabolical matter ; and even prudence again 
reminds me that, for a reason before given, I 
had better not do so. But credit the solemn 
Avords of your father, uttered on no light 
grounds. Destruction surrounds you in your 
present unprotected situation ; — avoid it — fly 
from it, instantly and without hesitation — that 
is the advice I said I would give. Prepare to 
escape privately from Enniscorthy, this very 
night, to an asylum which is ready to receive 
you. And now let me add why your father's 
safety depends on the decision you make. If 
you hesitate to obey me, I must, after my 
escape from prison, remain, at all hazards, to 
watch over you, and, as long as I may be al- 
lowed to discharge the duty, shield you from 
the demon who would destroy my precious 
Eliza ; this will almost certainly cause my re- 
apprehension, and then indeed hope were gone 



THE CROPPY. 115 

for ever. Obey me, therefore, for both our 
sakes; I use the strongest terms of command, 
because none others will convey my urgency ; 
nor do I yet deem, Eliza, that I have forfeited 
over my child the authority of a parent. 

" Prepare yourself, I can only repeat, and 
freely trust yourself into the hands of those 
whom I shall send to guide your flight. After 
you leave Enniscorthy some distance behind, I 
will myself meet and accompany you to your 
journey's end, disguised however from the view 
of a strange man who is to lead us by lonesome 
ways with which I am unacquainted, and to 
whom, as he does not share my confidence, it 
might be fatal to give the slightest suspicion of 
my identity. Farther, prudence, and the im- 
portant results which are at stake, will oblige us 
to interchange fevv words on the road, and those 
in whispers ; — nay, I must even try to assume a 
feigned voice, lest the man may be acquainted 
with my usual accents. In the minutest par- 
ticular, caution is indispensable — for, recollect 
how much depends upon perhaps our least 
action ! Your happiness — honour — life — the life 
of your father, and (I should have considered 
it before my own) that of the noble-hearted 
friend who dares all to succour and save us ! 



116 THE CROPPY. 

" I must not conclude without another injunc- 
tion. This communication is to be kept strictly 
secret from your poor aunt ; nor must she know 
of your arrangements for leaving Enniscorthy, 
nor that you are to leave it. She might fall 
into the hands of your enemy, and, in her pre- 
sent distressed and enfeebled state, drop some 
one word that were sufficient to re-transfer us 
all to the fate we try to avoid : and besides, 
she could not endure the fatigue for which you 
are better able to nerve yourself. Farewell, my 
dearest Eliza! — The bearer is fully in my 
confidence, — Farewell ! — May the Almighty 
Father protect the dear child of the fond and 

anxious 

T. H.'^ 

Shivering terror, astonishment, joy, hope, 
doubt — every variety of feeling, appeared by 
turns on Eliza's brow, as she perused this 
epistle. She laid it on the old-fashioned seat 
of the window ; she put her hands upon her 
eyes — the woman saw her start expressively : 
again she examined the writing ; it surely was 
her father's hand— less distinct and elegant, 
indeed, than that to which she had been accus- 
tomed ; but hurry and agitation might account 



THE CHOPPY. 117 

for the difference. She hastily read the letter 
a second time, and doubted more strongly than 
before : she could not tell why, but, to her 
mind, a certain unauthentic strain ran through 
it ; and Eliza felt inclined to refuse assent, or 
even consideration, to the extraordinary propo- 
sitions it contained. 

But chilly alarm possessed her at the reflec- 
tion that still it might have been written by 
her father ; and if so — and if she hesitated to 
obey its commands ! — Eliza sank overpowered 
at the thought. A third time she took it up. 
Now she had little or no doubt of the hand, 
and the diction and style seemed less strange. 
She looked towards the bearer of the important 
writing. The woman had resumed her station 
at the door, and Eliza could see nothing of her 
person and features, enveloped as both still 
were in her ample cloke, and farther obscured 
by the deepening twilight. It occurred to her 
to ask her visitor to put down the hood of the 
mantle, but good feeling checked the impulse ; 
and indeed good sense too ; for, if the letter 
were genuine, its bearer must be trust-worthy, 
inasmuch as the writer had said she fully pos- 
sessed his confidence. 



118 THE CROPPy. 

After a moment of useless observation, ElizA 
breathed out — '' Am I to receive no instruc- 
tions beyond what this letter conveys?" 

'^ Any circumstance with which I am ac- 
quainted, and not interdicted from mentioning, 
you may know. Madam." 

** Have you no other note ? — from no other 
person ?" 

*^ I have, indeed, been charged with another 
note. Madam ; — strange that I should forget an 
important part of my commission !'" and pacing 
forward, she put a folded scrap of paper into 
Eliza's hand, hastily written over with a pencil, 
and containing these lines : — 

" MY DEAREST LOVE, 

'* Fear nothing on my account : the only 
cause for my arrest is the pretext to separate 
us ; but I cannot be detained from you longer 
than to-night. My only apprehensions are, that 
in the mean time you may be exposed to the 
machinations of a villain. Keep yourself con- 
cealed from his view — fly from him — escape 
him, by every means, until you are protected 

by, 

Your adoring husband, 

William Jcjdkin." 



THE CEOPPy. 119 

Of the genuineness of this note, Eliza had 
not a doubt ; and her heart grew tranquib 
almost joyful, with hope. She laid the scrap 
of paper upon the more lengthened epistle, 
which it seemed fully to authenticate, and look- 
ed round for writing materials. 

'* There is one matter, Madam, which Sir 
William may not have mentioned." 

" Pray, pray state it !"* 

" This night he also regains his liberty." 

" May I not ask who is the blessed agent of 
his and my happiness ?'' 

" I can only tell you, Madam, that he shall 
be freed from Enniscorthy castle by the same 
hand that helps to open the door of your fathers 
dungeon. '' 

" Then, perhaps, I may meet with him, along 
with my father?" 

" No ; that is improbable— impossible ! He 
cannot escape for an hour after Sir Thomas 
Hartley ; and yet"" — the speaker paused, and 
her voice momentarily took a cadence that 
started Eliza — " and yet, you may see him to- 
night I** 

" To whom do I speak T' Ehza half arose in 
anxious misgiving. 



120 THE CROPPY. 

'* To one who will befriend you and yours, 
young lady ;" and Eliza'*s romantic surmise 
proved faulty. 

" 'Tis time I were back to your friends, 
Madam : have you resolved upon your answer 
to Sir Thomas Hartley ?'' 

" I have— I will implicitly obey my dear 
father. You shall convey to him my written 
answer to that effect." 

" Is not your verbal answer sufficient. Ma- 
dam ? He has informed you that he confides in 
me ; — I may, therefore, be trusted with it : and, 
in a case where the utmost precaution is ne- 
cessary, the less writing the better. I do not 
fear that I shall be suspected during my visits 
backward and forward from your father to 
you ; but the chance is possible, and, there- 
fore, by all means to be avoided, when a single 
line under your hand might destroy all our ar- 
rangements." 

" You are right," answered Eliza, gaining 
still more confidence from the seeming careful- 
ness and earnestness of the negotiator. 

*• You are right, good woman : remember, 
then, the very words I say. But first, can you 
tell me the names of certain persons alluded to 
in my father's letter.?'* 



THE CROPPY. 121 

" I can, Madam ; but, for the present, I am 
not permitted to do so." 

*' Then take my message. — I am well, re- 
joiced at my father's prospect of safety, and I 
will implicitly obey him." 

" Depend on my delivering it, word for word, 
Madam. — One other observation is necessary : 
Sir Thomas Hartley has not, I believe, men- 
tioned the hour at which you are to hear from 
him again V 

*' No ! or it could not have escaped me." 

" At ten o'clock, then. Madam, you will be 
prepared for your departure from Enniscorthy. 
Attire yourself for a journey on horseback Be 
prudent and firm, and keep your own counsel, 
and all will go well. For the purpose of baf* 
fling your aunt's curiosity, you had better in- 
vent some probable story." 

" What ? woman!" interrupted Eliza, "coun- 
sel me to utter an untruth ! My father never 
instructed you to do so ; nor would he give his 
confidence to one whose nature and habits per- 
mit such advice. Ah ! your letters may be 
forgeries ! There are such things, as well 
executed." 

*' Then you waver in your resolution ?'* 

*' I — I know not what to do." 

VOL. III. G 



122 THE CltOPPy. 

" Your message shall be faithfully delivered, 
young lady; — at ten, be ready to steal from 
this house with me, or — be accessary to your 
father*s death V The abrupt stranger was about 
to leave the room. 

" Stay r cried Eliza — " you will also see the 
writer of the pencilled note ?" 

" Yes, Madam." 

" To-night.?" 

" I hope so." 

" And can also deliver a message to him 
from me .?" 

'* To him, — from you .?" 

" Yes, from me to my beloved husband." 

The woman''s last answers had been given 
very calmly, though expressively ; but now it 
was in a rude, if not fierce tone that she quick- 
ly answered — " No ! not a breath !" — and so 
saying, she left Eliza alone. 



THE CROPPY. 123 



CHAPTER V. 

Her aunt did not give Eliza much time for 
solitary reflection : and her question of — " Well, 
dear child, what — what have been the tidings ?" 
proposed a difficulty. During our heroine's 
whole life, she had never spoken an equivoca- 
tion ; and little praise is claimed for her on 
that account, for she had never had any thing 
to conceal from the indulgent and virtuous 
friends about her ; — the fact is mentioned merely 
to show, that by habit as well, we hope, as by 
nature, she must now have utterly rejected the 
notion of deceiving her aunt with the " some 
probable story," just recommended to her adop- 
tion. Nor could she be silent ; and how, then, 
answer ? — " Plainly," concluded Eliza ; and re- 
ferring to her father's letter, or to the letter 
that purported to come from her father, she 
read out that single injunction, which com- 
G 2 



124 THE CROPPY. 

manded her not to communicate to Miss Alice 
the intelligence it contained. 

The old lady was of course much surprised, 
and startled, and grieved, and afraid. " What 
could be her brother'*s motive for refusing his 
confidence, in misfortune, to one from whom, 
in days of happiness, he had never withheld it ? 
— her dear child would at least explain that.*" 
No — because by so doing she must absolutely 
reveal the nature of the secret deposited exclu- 
sively in her breast. — " Very extraordinary 
still ; unkind, cruel of Sir Thomas. Well ; — 
but what, generally speaking, were the situa- 
tion and the hopes of the poor prisoners .?*" — 
Their situation not dangerous, and their hopes 
lively. — " Praised be the Lord ; — oh, for ever 
praised f' and the good lady knelt down, in 
the sincere fervency of her heart ; — " and Sir 
Thomas'^s letter answered for the dear Sir W^il- 
liam as well as for himself?" — Not so — but an- 
other letter did ; and Eliza handed the pencilled 
note to Miss Alicia. 

This partial confidence, slight as it really 
was, operated upon the querulous old lady as 
does, upon a fretful child, the permission to 
catch up some plaything of little moment, in- 
stead of the valuable article for which he had 
at first raised his tiny cries. While dwelling, 



THE CROPPY. 125 

word after word, upon Sir William''s scrawl, 
Miss Alice forgot how ill she had been treated 
by the withholding the more important docu- 
ment from her scrutiny. Her heart swelled 
with pity, admiration, and love of the writer. 
" The considerate, the fond, the gallant Sir 
William ! how her soul thanked him for the 
comfort of that little note ! But — Heaven, in 
its mercies, protect us ! — could it, and Sir Tho- 
mas's letter too, have been written only to give 
assurance to Eliza and herself ? — could the dear 
prisoners, in compassion for them, agree to 
communicate hopes that had no real founda- 
tion.^"" — EHza, at much length, combatted the 
unreasonableness, as well as the refined misery- 
seeking of this conjecture. " Well ; thank God, 
her darling child thought so ; 'twas a great 
blessing that such was her opinion : but, again 
— and she prayed a good Providence to prove 
her fears vain — might not Sir Thomas's letter 
be a forgery? Na}^ even this note." — She 
drew near to the lights, and, adjusting her 
spectacles, re-examined the pencilled lines — 
" they were just like Sir William's hand, and 
no more — just as like as a skilful knave could 
easily make them ; — blessed Goodness ! was her 
dear child quite, quite sure of the handwriting 
of the letter ?" 



126 THE CROPPY. 

This surmise and question proved more dis- 
tressing to Eliza than any of the preceding 
ones had done; yet she answered, that, in- 
deed, she had very carefully scrutinized the 
letter, and her conviction was that it must be 
genuine. As to Sir William's note, she enter- 
tained not the slightest doubt of it ; his hand 
was a very peculiar one, and could not possibly 
be imitated, so as to deceive her at least ; and, 
in fact, her dear aunt unnecessarily afflicted 
herself by such surmises ; — " and now, dearest 
Madam," continued Eliza, " I will retire for a 
little while to reflect and to pray ; for I need 
the most cool exercise of my mind, and the 
most merciful help Heaven may be pleased to 
vouchsafe me:" and accordingly she left the 
chamber, and in solitude endeavoured to form, 
positively, her determination. 

** The one desperate individual" who had 
plotted against her father's life, could be no 
other than the ^^ enemy" who had also sought 
her destruction — who, in fact, in order to get 
her into his power, had diabolically contrived 
the arrest of Sir Thomas and of her husband — 
*' but," said Eliza, detecting herself arguing in 
a circle, '^ if I take any assertion from that letter, 
so as to reason on it, I must first suppose the 
epistle genuine, and then my dilemma would end 



THE CROPPY. 12^ 

at once : and, hold — do I not here see started the 
strongest possible reason to believe it written 
by my father ? If a forgery, it can have been 
forged only by that " one desperate individual," 
that detestable ^^ enemy," and would he thus 
describe himself?" 

She started up, delighted at the thought. 
Joined to its other internal evidence, there could 
no longer be a doubt of the authenticity of the 
letter. She would, without farther hesitation, — 
nay, in hope and joy of heart, act upon it. 

** And yet," still whispered her womanly 
prudence and fears — ^^ a consummate villain 
would hit even upon that finesse, in order to 
make it look more like the truth — in order to 
secure his one long-sought object, for which he 
has already bid adieu to character in every 
shape, in order" — and she dropped trembling 
into her chair — " in order to beguile a wretched 
woman, far from her protectors, and from all 
human help!" 

For some time Eliza could but shudder and 
shrink at the bare idea of committing her- 
self to the guidance of the questionable person 
who had dehvered the letter, and hasten, at an 
advanced hour of the night, most probably, into 
the very arms of destruction. 

" But here is the awful question," she con- 



128 



THE CROPPY. 



tinued, laying down the document after she 
had again pored over it — '* the probabilities, 
whether it be genuine or not, are pretty nearly 
equal : the life of my father may^ then, be in my 
hands ; and should I hesitate ? If, through my 
selfish fears, the beloved author of my existence 
were again to fall into his enemies' grasp, could 
peace of mind ever visit me ? Must I not 
regard myself as that coward daughter who 
feared to risk a chance of personal injury for 
the equal chance of saving her father? Oh, 
God !" she cried, falling on her knees, and 
stretching her arms towards Heaven, while 
the ennobling nature of the struggle, and the 
deep-felt reliance upon Him whom she suppli- 
cated, gave a holy expression to her beautiful 
features — ^^ Father of All, guide my feeble rea- 
son, enlighten my imperfect nature, raise my 
selfish heart, that, in this first necessity for a 
proper exercise of my judgment, I may decide 
as thou wouldst have me do !" 

Covering her face with her hands, she bent 
humbly before the Great Power she invoked, 
and for some time remained silently in that po- 
sition. When she arose and seated herself, her 
countenance, though pale, was calm and firm ; 
and not without a mild glow of joy fulness, she 



THE CROPPY. 129 

felt as if the Mighty Intelligence, of which her 
soul was an emanation, had been present to it, 
and iniparte<l the power to decide : and as per- 
sons will do in sohtude, who have come to a 
fixed resolution, after a strong mental combat, 
Eliza breathed out her purpose aloud. ^^ The 
risk shall be run. His arm will shield, even 
amid danger, the child wdio would save her 
father. In the name of God, let me prepare 
for my journey ! It cannot lead me into harm. 
And now I do not fear my enemy. There is 
a strength given to me beyond his strength. 
Either we are not to meet at all, or I shall over- 
come him if we do." 

Wearing a brow of steady resolve, she joined 
her aunt, and spent nearly the two succeeding 
hours in endeavouring to inspire the feeble old 
lady with hope and confidence. Meantime, to 
say that, even after all her high-minded deter- 
mination, her own bosom remained unagitated 
by relapsing doubts and fears, would be to 
exaggerate Eliza into a commonplace heroine 
indeed. 

About half-past nine o'clock, an account of 
the result of her father's trial was brought to 
her by a messenger sent from the inn. Sen- 
tence of death had been recorded against 
g5 



130 THE CROPPY. 

him. Hesitation once more passed away. 
She would dare every thing for the merest 
chance of warding off the execution of that 
sentence. 

Of the going or coming of the particular per- 
son who conveyed these tidings, Miss Alicia 
had been unaware : Eliza privately employed 
him, and as privately met him upon his return 
from the castle; so that her aunt could ask no 
questions concerning whatever intelligence he 
might communicate. To other individuals dis- 
patched with the knowledge of the old lady, her 
niece now sent orders not to approach the inn. 
And as she sat at the side of the bed where 
poor Miss Alice at length lay powerless, her 
feeble eyes closing in slumber which she vainly 
resisted, and presently opening to inquire if 
the messenger had returned, Eliza was thus 
enabled to withhold information that, while she 
cherished a hope it might prove harmless, she 
feared could not at present be given to her aunt, 
without endangering her life. 

Eliza stealthily looked at her watch. It 
wanted but a few minutes to ten. Finding her 
heart sinking, she once more knelt, and once 
more gained resolution. Still on her knees, she 
softly took her aunt's languid hand, and kissed 



THE CROPPY. 131 

it ; and then arose, and cautiously bent over the 
bed to regard the long-loved features which she 
micrht never ag-ain behold. Miss Alicia slum- 
bered, but as Eliza a second time impulsively 
caught vip her hand, awoke, and their eyes met. 

" I hope you feel sufficiently warm, my dear- 
est aunt," she said, in a choking voice, while 
she ardently pressed the hand she held. Miss 
Alicia's reply was scarcely audible, yet it spoke 
gratitude and assurance, and her weak fingers 
feebly returned the pressure of which they were 
just sensible. Her eyes closed again. Eliza 
stole out of the chamber, gained her own, and 
hastily proceeded to array herself for her peril- 
ous journey. 

A riding-habit formed no part of the attire 
she had brought with her from Hartley Court ; 
but she could clothe herself warmly, and not very 
inconveniently. As the last article of dress was 
arranged, the clock on the lobby began to strike 
ten. Again she looked at her watch ; it also 
indicated the momentous hour. Instinctively 
she pressed her right-hand to her heart, while 
yet the strokes rung on, and turning round faced 
the closed door of her chamber. The tenth 
stroke had scarcely been told, when it was fol- 
lowed by a single heavy knock at the outside of 



132 THE CROPPY. 

the door. She started, catched her breath 
shortly ; but, after a pause, desired the chal- 
lenger to come in. 

" 'Tis I ; come you out to me," answered the 
low voice of her former visitor. 

At once closing with her purpose, boldly and 
courageously, Eliza opened the door, and saw 
the woman standing in the gloom at the head of 
the stair. Ehza held a hght in her hand. 

" Leave the candle in the room, it may draw- 
observation ; and then come closer here, while 
we exchange a word."*^ 

Eliza passively obeyed these directions. 
" By your preparations for the road, I see 
you have not altered your mind," continued 
the woman, when they stood together at the 
stair-head in the dark. 

'' I have not," replied Eliza firmly — ** lead 
on, I follow you ; if I am betrayed. Heaven 
will punish my betrayers." 

A slight scoffing sound, made by the breath, 
escaped the woman before she continued ; — 
" You have nothing to fear; act resolutely, and 
you will bless the night I led you from this 
roof. I even bring you assurances of my ho- 
nesty. What words are these ? — ' God bless 
you ! my love, and may you live to bless the 



THE CROPPY. 133 

husband of your choice longer than did your 
sainted mother.'" 

Eliza indeed recollected them, as words ad- 
dressed to her that very morning by her father, 
while she hung upon his neck after the "mar- 
riage ceremony. 

" And you ought to know this ring," resumed 
the woman, giving one ; — " step into your cham- 
ber, and look at it.'' 

Eliza did so, and at once recognised it as her 
father's. 

" Nay, I forgot," said the woman's voice at 
the door, as she flung a note across the narrow 
room, over EHza's shoulder, so that it rested 
upon the table — " read that, and then delay no 
longer." 

Eliza tore it open, and read — 

" MY BELOVED CHILD, 

" I am free ; — I wait to see you under a safe 
roof; then I must hasten to my own conceal- 
ment — only for a few days, however. Follow 
the bearer, a tall woman in a dark-grey cloke ; 
she will guide you to 

Your happy, but anxious father, 

T. H." 



134 THE CROPPY. 

" I follow you/' whispered Eliza earnestly to 
the guide, after having again joined her in the 
shadow of the lobby. 

The woman, making a sign to be cautious, 
looked down the stair, and listened ; then, giv- 
ing another sign, she descended. Eliza softly 
trod in her steps, and, without being observed 
by any one belonging to the house, found her- 
self in the streets of Enniscorthy. 

The guide rapidly paced through the town, 
our heroine still following. Bands of yeomen, 
showing rather alarmed anticipation than for- 
midable preparation, patrolled the streets, in 
expectancy of the attack we have already no- 
ticed. As yet, only imperfectly acquainted 
with the theory of warlike defence, their sense 
of the coming danger was chiefly manifested 
when they stopped to listen to an unusual noise, 
or cried out to the inmates of the houses to ex- 
tinguish their lights, or issued their mandates, 
that all persons not authorised to bear arms, 
and wearing the very suspicious garb of civil 
attire, should remain within-doors; or gave what- 
ever other orders they vaguely, and often erro- 
neously, supposed might conduce to success in 
combat. And upon one or two occasions, Eliza's 



THE CROPPY. 135 

conductress showed great presence of mind, in 
so guiding her charge as to avoid sometimes 
detention, and sometimes questioning, by these 
anxious and zealous patroles. 

They safely passed the lower part of the 
town, and glided through the thatched suburb, 
where all was still, and every one had seemingly 
retired to repose, although within every darken- 
ed hovel many an ear listened earnestly for the 
expected sounds of rush and tumult. At the 
very last cabin of the outlet, the woman halted, 
and tapped at its door. The latch was up- 
raised, and a man appeared. 

" Bring out the horses," said the guide. 

*^ Where is ray father ?"" asked Eliza. 

" Hush !" was her companion's sole reply. 

" He enffacred to meet me, and he is not here," 
urged the anxious daughter. 

'* Be cautious of your words. Madam ; none 
must hear you name his name ; fearful danger 
would attend it." 

The man brought out two horses. 

" You will mount one of them, Madam," 
continued the woman. Ehza hesitated. " You 
will mount, or your father returns to Ennis- 
corthy, and is lost," she continued. 



136 THE CROPPY. 

" I have ventured thus far, and I will brave 
the result, in Heaven's name," thought Eliza, 
and she gained her saddle. Her companion was 
quickly seated in the other. 

" Still follow me, and fear not," she whis- 
pered, and put her animal to a brisk pace. 

Eliza was a good horsewoman ; but she found 
herself equalled, if not excelled, by her guide. 
Their rapid journey continued in silence ; and 
it might be after about a quarter of an hour's 
riding, during which Eliza perceived that their 
course first lay northward from Enniscorthy, 
and then wheeled a short distance to its south- 
east, that, just on the ascent of a little one-arch- 
ed bridge, they suddenly halted. The banks of 
the considerable brook it spanned were thickly 
wooded, forming a gloomy ravine, in which the 
dark summer's night grew darker, and which 
afforded a fit place of concealment to any one 
careful of avoiding observation. 

" Advance !" said Ehza's companion, still 
speaking in a controlled voice, although she 
turned it towards the dusky dell. 

The noise of horses' feet was heard within the 
gloom ; two mounted men emerged from it, and 
were shortly on the road. As they approached, 
the woman addressed Eliza in a whisper. 



THE CROPPY. 137 

*' I now leave you, Madam, under your 
father's protection. Be not doubtful, even 
though a daughter's eye can scarce recognize 
him in his disguise. In the short time afforded 
for all our arrangements, it was impossible to find 
at hand a guide for your and his farther jour- 
ney, who might be intrusted, beyond the slight- 
est doubt of possible treachery, with the know- 
ledge of your father's person ; his present com- 
panion does not therefore know him ; and be- 
ware how you betray the secret to the man's 
observation. Some whispers may be exchanged ; 
but every thing like conversation must be avoid- 
ed. Farewell, Madam ! I return, in speed, to 
liberate Sir William Judkin. You and I shall 
meet again :" and turning her horse's head, she 
rode back towards Enniscorthy. 

In the person who now drew up beside Eliza, 
yet at some distance from her, she endeavoured 
to recognize her father. Although some doubts 
did spring up in her heart, she believed it was 
indeed he. He wore the great outside coat of 
a peasant, of which the stiff, standing-collar 
closed before his face, while a broad-brimmed 
hat flapped down into his eyes. But, after si- 
lently regarding him through the darkness of 
the night, EHza was almost sure she caught the 



138 THE CROPPY. 

peculiar mien of her beloved parent ; and it 
could not be a vulgar hand which managed the 
spirited horse he bestrode. 

While yet she looked, he spoke in a whisper. 
" My beloved child has acted like herself. 
None but my own noble EHza could have thus 
proved her own character ; but I reckoned on it, 
when I addressed her ; and by courageously 
exercising it, she has saved us both." 

" Why, then, tunder-an'-turf," interrupted 
the guide, rudely pushing forward; and his 
manner proclaimed a low-bred, and not a gentle 
peasant. " Misther, whatever it 's plaisin to 
you to call yoursef, if you 're goin' to go, don't 
stop spakin down in your throath there, becase 
you have a wheezin** all the night long.'' 

'* You see we must be cautious,*" again whis- 
pered the object of this remonstrance. " I am 
not skilful at a feint ; and though I strove to 
adopt a natural tone while disguising my real 
one, this man at once discovers it to be an affec- 
tation." 

Eliza had certainly listened in vain to catch 
some cadence of her father''s voice ; now, how- 
ever, she thought she should know one or two 
accents of this second whisper. 

" My dear father," she replied, as softly as 



THE CROPPY. 139 

the softest voice could breathe the words, when 
the man had re-assumed his place in front, " I 
would not deserve the name of daughter had I 
disobeyed your command ; and I implored the 
council of my God, and, I think, acted under 
the dictates He vouchsafed to whisper to my 
heart." 

The rude guide again became impatient, and 
Ehza was now addressed, not in a cautious 
tone, by a voice which was quite strange to 
her; '^ Well, let us proceed as fast as our 
horses can travel ; we have no time to lose." 

" Faith ! an' you may say that, Misther-wid- 
the-tongue-in- the- wizen, if you don't want to 
wait for the daylight to kitch us : a thing, I 've 
a notion, you 'd rather let alone." 

" On, then. Sir !" and the party set forward. 
Eliza's companion rode within a cautious dis- 
tance of her bridle ; his attentions, as far as it 
seemed prudent to bestow them, evincing all 
the kindness and watchfulness of sincere affec- 
tion. The rapid rate at which they held on, 
would of itself have prevented continued dis- 
course, and only a few whispers still were inter- 
changed between them ; or, if they began a dia- 
logue, the guide surely slacked his pace, what- 
ever might be his motive, evidently that he 



140 THE CROPPY. 

might overhear it ; perhaps he was merely curi- 
ous to ascertain the identity of his fellow-tra- 
vellers ; and, upon the appearance of any such 
attempt, increased caution became necessary. 
Eliza's companion also seemed of himself in- 
clined to fits of reflection, and half-checked sighs 
often escaped him. 

On one occasion, while thus apparently ab- 
stracted, and while the guide seemed less inqui- 
sitive than usual, Eliza addressed him, '* You 
appear depressed, my dear Sir/' 

" Ehza, when removed from you, even though 
for a short time, I must tremble with anxiety 
and apprehension." 

" May I not know the exact nature of the 
danger to which you will still believe me ex- 
posed. Sir .? If once aware of it, I could better 
nerve myself against it." 

" You will, alas ! know it too soon. At pre- 
sent — see — it is impossible." 

The man turned round to say, that as the 
road grew better, they must still increase their 
speed. When the next respite occurred, Eliza 
gently whispered, *' I am naturally anxious 
about my husband. Sir." 
Her companion started. 



THE CROPPY. 141 

" Your husband ! — hah ! — Certainly, cer 
tainly, you must be, Eliza ;'* and he was silent. 

" My words seem to have startled you, Sir ?" 

" Startled me ? no, child : why should they ? 
why should you not be anxious ?" 

*' I have heard that this night he too should 
escape from prison." 

" And you have heard truly." 

'' And that it was probable I should see him 
immediately after." 

" See him ! to-night ! no, no, no ; — but, par- 
don me, Eliza, I cannot answer without agita- 
tion — dreadful agitation : it may be a long time 
before you see him.'' 

" And why so, my dear Sir? you alarm me." 

'* Your question involves the former expla- 
nation which you required of me, and therefore 
cannot at present be answered — judge for your- 
self — this fellow again interrupts us." 

" Heaven protect us all ! for I see we are all 
yet surrounded by some frightful danger," said 
Ehza, and they pushed on in silence. 

This was the longest discourse that occurred 
during a rapid journey of about fourteen Irish 
miles. Most frequently they struck from the 
high-road into narrow ways, and often swept 



14S THE CROPPY. 

over fields through which no beaten track mark- 
ed the route. It is not in this place necessary 
to present the features of the country, now 
under the shadow of night ; enough to observe, 
that the travellers hurried through scenery of 
the same general character with that which has 
elsewhere been given as common to the County 
of Wexford ; up and down many ascents and de- 
scents, and within view, though indistinctly seen, 
of many eminences, bare or wooded ; and some- 
times through tracts nearly barren : for, even so 
late as about thirty years ago, no part of Ire- 
land had arrived at the degree of cultivation it 
now can boast. 

With tolerable accuracy, it has been ascertain- 
ed, that nearly at the hour when Sir William 
Judkin set off from Hartley Court, in a vain 
search after his bride to the town of Enniscorthy, 
that young and lovely bride was much fatigued 
with her long and rapid ride, ascending a wind- 
ing avenue which led to a respectable-looking 
mansion seated on a green ascent. And as she 
turned her head over her shoulder, Eliza saw to 
her left hand an expanse of water, dimly shown 
by the reflection of the sky over its bosom, 
which could not be called lightsome, but rather 
just a shade less dark than the hills and plains 



THE CnOPFY. 143 

it overhung ; and covering another green emi- 
nence, opposite to that on which the house was 
situated, and ascending from the edge of the 
water, appeared, vague and shapeless, a massive 
pile of ruined building. 

^' Where are we, Sir ?" she asked. 

'* Yonder, my dear child, is your house of 
refuge : to your left are the ruins of Dunbrody 
Abbey, which the morning hght will present to 
you as a noble object in the landscape. I will 
but see you to the threshold of your asylum, 
Eliza ; and then, while the darkness yet favours 
my escape to my own place of concealment, we 
must bid each other adieu.'' 

^^ And whither do you go, Sir ?" 

'' I must be seen only by one confidential 
person,'' answered her companion, as if evading 
her last whispered question, or perhaps he had 
not heard it, — " to no other will I intrust my life : 
and believe me, Eliza, my great anxiety to pre- 
serve that life is with a view of making it useful 
to you ; for it may still happen that you will 
require my guidance and guardianship." 

'* Your words again alarm me. Sir. — Oh, 
speak, Sir ! my husband !" 

The guide had knocked loudly at the door 
of the house, to which they were novv very near ; 



144 THE CROPPY. 

it opened, lights appeared from it, and the man, 
turning in his saddle, seemed closely watching 
them. 

'^ We must part, Eliza ; I leave you in safety 
— it depends on yourself to continue secure from 
danger. Stir not from the house until you hear 
tidings of me again. — Farewell ! — I must not 
even touch your hand, my child — the fellow 
notes us two closely — nor can I venture nearer 
to the light of the door. God Almighty bless 
you !" 

" And protect you, my dear Sir,"' said Eliza, 
as he turned his horse's head. 

A man and woman, both elderly, holding can- 
dles in their hands, and having the appearance 
of respectable domestics, now stood bowing and 
curtesying to Eliza at the hall-door. The man 
stepped out to assist her to dismount. When she 
touched the ground, she turned round to catch 
a parting glance of her father. He also had dis- 
mounted, at some distance, and seemed prepar- 
ing to bestride a fresh horse. The obsequious 
servant ushered her up the steps to the house. 
At the door she again looked back ; it seemed 
the same figure that a second time met her eye, 
indistinctly discerned through the gloom, ex- 
cept that, along with the loose peasant's great- 



THE CROPPY. 145 

coat, a horse-hair hehiiet now took place of 
the former slouched hat. The variation made 
EHza curious. She gazed more attentively. 
The person stooped as if to examine one of 
the hoofs of his horse. In the action, his hel- 
met fell off, and the lights held by the do- 
mestics streaming out at the same moment 
through the darkness, fell on his uncovered 
head, and fitfully revealed to Eliza a much- 
dreaded countenance. Stunned at the view, or 
perhaps, fancy, she staggered into the hall; 
faintness was closing on her heart ; — at the 
thought of whose house she entered — the house 
of Talbot — of the individual she believed she 
had just beheld — Ehza made an effort, how- 
ever, to rush out; but the heavy door was 
suddenly shut on her, and retreat cut off. 



VOL. III. 



146 THE CROPPY. 



CHAPTER VI. 

That she had been betrayed — that the letter 
delivered by the woman had not come from her 
father — that the companion of her rapid ride 
was not her father — that, remote from friendly 
aid, she was in the power of her enemy, while 
the two dear beings for whom she had dared 
all, and lost all, still remained in prison, or, 
perhaps, had by this time ignominiously ended 
their lives — these were the conclusions that in- 
stantly forced themselves upon Eliza. 

And, with quick combination, everything now 
seemed to add proof of the appalling facts. In- 
stead of her father attempting to use a feigned 
voice, she contemplated his treacherous repre- 
sentative as trying to imitate her father's real 
one, and depending upon her credulous belief 
of the first case, to hide his occasional, indeed 
general, failure. The interference of the guide to 
hinder their protracted discourse on the road, had 



THE CROPPY. 147 

been planned, as part of the system of deception. 
Her companion's frequent fits of abstraction, 
and his expressive sighs, as they rode along, 
indicated, not the anxiety of a parent, but the 
presumptuous aspirations of a lover, with, per- 
haps, some struggles of remorse, or at least, of 
doubts and fears of her future estimation of 
him, or of the consequences of his outrageous 
conduct. And how could she have been so 
infatuated as not to have properly understood 
his start and agitation when she mentioned her 
husband's name, and his whole evident disin- 
clination to interchange a word concerning Sir 
William? 

Trembling upon a seat in the hall, horror and 
despair wholly possessed Eliza at the first view 
of her situation. But she brought to mind 
that, before leaving the inn, she had resolved to 
take her chance of either of two results, and to 
brave her fate, should the present one ensue. 
This thought rallied her, at least out of a state 
of mere weakness and inanity. Then she re- 
flected, that if she was lost, so were the only 
beings with whom she could ever wish to share 
life ; and Eliza told her heart to prepare for 
destruction with them. With them ^ Nay, for 
them ! The idea completed her triumph over her 
H 2 



148 THE CROPPy. 

position, and despair changed into desperation ; 
and terror and yielding into the stern pride of 
wretchedness. 

" Won't you walk up-stairs to your nice 
room, my lady ?" asked the female servant, 
with a very respectful and even tender voice. 

Eliza raised her eyes and closely scanned 
her two attendants, as the one curtsied to the 
ground, and the other bowed profoundly. Both 
were attired, and demeaned themselves, as de- 
cent upper-servants of that day, and nothing 
about either gave the notion that she was 
immediately in the hands of those who would 
treat her rudely or even unkindly. On the 
contrary, if appearance could at all be trusted, 
and Eliza's recent experience seemed to warn 
her that it seldom could, the man and woman 
equally showed a benevolent, respectful sympa- 
thy with her situation, which might well inspire 
some confidence. 

She arose from the hall-seat, and stood firmly, 
to her full height, before them, as she inquired 
with calm dignity, 

" In whose house am I ?'^ 

" In a house, my lady, where hurt or harum 
daa'r'nt come nigh a hair o' your head," answer- 
ed the female, still curtseying. 



THE CROPPY. 149 

*' But who is its owner ?" 

" We 're bound up not to spake about that till 
the time comes, my lady ; only it 's owned by 
one that 'ud turn the world inside out to make 
pleasure for you, ma'am, and that 'ud no more 
hurt you, my purty lady, than he 'd chop the 
head offiv his own showlders/'' 

" Answer directly to my question — does this 
house belong to Captain Talbot, and is it by 
his agency I have been conveyed hither ?" 

The man and woman looked at each other, 
as if mutually endeavouring to ascertain the 
reply that should be given, and Eliza began to 
give up her slight confidence in them ; or per- 
haps they were only surprised at her question ; 
she would see. 

" We don't know the bould Capt'n you 're 
spakin' about, ma'am, no more than we know 
the man in the moon : who is he, I wondher, 
Robert ?" said the woman. 

" Who is he ?" echoed Robert, hesitatingly, 
" I b'lieve I hard till o' sich a Capt'n, Nelly, 
some time or other ; — but, my lady — " and he 
bowed his powdered head very low, until his 
loyal queu protruded horizontally from his 
shoulders — " if it 's in your mind to think that 
ould Robert manes you any thing worse tlian 



.150 THE CROFPy. 

goin"' about this house, on his two bare knees, 
to do every command you '11 put on him, may 
them same two legs be cut off this moment, an' 
thrun' out in the yard for the dog's supper. 
Have thrust in us, my lady ; do, my lady^: 
we're honest ould sarv'nts, my lady, an' we'll 
lose the life for you, dhrop by dhrop." 

" Ah, then, my purty, darling lady, do, 
an* you won't be sorry — " urged the female, 
with so much earnestness that tears, sincere or 
artificial, stood in her eyes; and Eliza remark- 
ed that while Robert spoke his voice sounded 
quiveringly, so that the two old domestics 
must be very excellent actors, if she was not, to 
them, at least, an object of pity, and, so far as 
they were able to afford itj protection. 

Almost instinctively, therefore, at the wo- 
man's repeated entreaties, she ascended the 
stair, her attendant now smiling very officiously 
and benevolently, and seeming one of the most 
affectionate beings alive. 

" And here it is, my lady," entering a large 
sleeping-chamber ; " and here 's as nice a bed as 
'ud do the Queen o' Morocco to lie down in ; 
but no wise too good for the lodger it '11 have 
to-night. I'll bring you tay, my lady, or sup- 
per, or I'll help you to undhress, or any other 



THE CROPPY. 151 

comfort you 'd have afther your journey, only 
say id, my lady.*' 

" Do you persist in refusing to inform me 
into whose house I have been conveyed ?"'"* 

" We couldn't be tellin' that yet, my lady ; 
indeed we couldn't ; an' it wouldn't be for your 
good to know id, the pra&ant time ; but he 's the 
thrue friend of you and yours, an' don't be un- 
asy, my honey lady : I 'm a mother, an' the mo- 
ther o' daughters, too, an' I '11 give you lave 
to say that any one of them is a disgrace to 
their mother, an' by their mother's own fault, 
too, if ever you find me doing or saying towards 
you what I shouldn't do or say." 

" Can you tell me any thing of my father ?" 

" Ah, then, nothin' very particklar," answer- 
ed the attendant, adroitly hiding some sudden 
agitation ; " only Robert was sayin** he was 
safe an' sound, my lady." 

" Perhaps you have heard Robert mention 
another person — Sir William Judkin ?" 

*' Never a word, then, my lady ; but I 'm not 
euros, all out." 

" Well — I do not choose to be assisted in 
preparing for bed — leave the lights, and retire," 

Eliza did not, indeed, seek repose. Although 
her body was fatigued and harassed, she could 



152 .THE CROPPY 

not quell her mind to that quiet necessary for 
sleep. Besides, in her present very doubtful 
situation, waking and watching were her part, 
rather than slumber. 

Had she indeed seen her dreaded foe.? was 
she in his power — in his house ? Might it not 
be possible that her boding, disturbed state of 
mind only conferred upon other features, amid 
the darkness and the hurry of the hour, a 
likeness to those which haunted her imagina- 
tion ? The appearance and manner of her two 
attendants certainly strengthened the conjec- 
ture. 

But why should they refuse to name the 
proprietor of the mansion in which she was? 
If thev did not fear that she would dislike to 
hear his name, how arose the necessity for their 
pertinaceous silence ? And what name but one 
could sound odious to her ? Again Eliza re- 
lapsed into all her first apprehensions of trea- 
chery ; and again the picture of her father and 
her husband, brought to an ignominious death, 
rose so vividly before her fancy, that she started 
up as if to confront a real occurrence. 

Thus employed during the few hours of the 
night, the summer morning found her still 
waking ; and, notwithstanding her previous re- 



THE CKOPPy. 153 

solves to nerve herself against the event, still 
wretched and trembling. Her eyes were red 
with scalding tears, as she arose unconsciously, 
at the first summons of the dawn, and looked 
from her window : and although the old abbey 
of Dunbrocly, an extensive mass of monastic 
ruin, would at another time have interested 
her, EHza heeded it not ; nor, although a great 
portion of her enjoyment of life had hitherto 
been drawn from the beauties of outward Na- 
ture, did she now dwell with pleasure on the 
fine expanse of water beneath the old ruins' 
green ascent, nor transfer her admiring glance 
to the wooded heights, near and remote, some 
vaguely expressed in the yet lingering mists of 
the night, some glowing and sparkling in a 
contrast of sunny clearness. 

The uncertainty of her predicament chiefly 
harassed Ehza. That she was the victim of 
a plan to separate her from her only friends, 
while they should be destroyed in her absence, 
seemed the most likely case ; yet it was not 
fully proved ; and ifj taking it for granted, she 
should attempt and succeed in an escape, and 
if, after all, it turned out to be the fact, that 
her late movements and her present situation 
were indeed guided and chosen by her father, 
H 5 



154 THE CROPPY. 

the result of her precipitation might be terrible. 
Then, in reality, she might fall into the hands 
of the enemy, from whom it had been her pa- 
rent's care to shield her— nay, and then, indeed, 
that parent might be exposed by her to inevit- 
able ruin. 

Partially, a guiding thought struck upon 
Eliza. Sir William's note — which she could 
not bring herself to suspect as strongly as she 
did the letter purporting to come from her 
father — advised concealment until he could fly 
te- her assistance ; thus he seemed to have been 
aware of a plan to convey her to a place of 
safety; if so, he would be with her in the 
course of that day ; for the woman, and the 
person calling himself her father, had permitted 
her to reckon confidently upon Sir William's 
deliverance from prison before the morning, 
and Eliza would await his coming in resig- 
nation. 

She would be watchful, too; observe more 
closely the real characters of the servants in 
attendance upon her, and, if possible, gain 
from them more information than they had 
yet given. 

Having thus arrived at something like a con- 
clusion as to the course of action it befitted 



THE CROPPY. 155 

her to pursue, Eliza's mind grew comparatively 
calm, although not with the calm of assurance. 
For the first time, she cast her eyes observantly 
around her. She was in a bed-chamber ar- 
ranged with all the elegance which should dis- 
tinguish a lady's. Two doors opened from it, 
one into the landing-place, another, as Eliza 
ascertained by a glance, into a dressing-room. 
Both these she secured ; and closing the shat- 
ters on the beautiful prospect that could not 
attract her, yielded at last to a natural wish 
for repose. 

But it was a broken slumber that visited her 
pillow. Her own agonised groan, half-sound- 
ing upon her ear, often assumed, corresponding 
with a frightful scene rapidly conjured up to 
eke it out, the dying and despairing cries of 
those she loved ; and she would start, and 
awaken, and rise up on her pillow to fix her 
eyes on objects that seemed actually present 
with her. Nature will often, indeed, like a 
tender nurse, cradle the most wretched to re- 
pose, permitting the beguiled fancy to enjoy 
prospects of bliss of which the waking mind 
dares not entertain a hope ; but with Ehza it 
seemed as if, in cruel sport, true perception 
was extinguished only for the purpose of pre- 



156 



THE CROPr-Y. 



sentinff to her mind exao^ijerations of her real 
misery. 

She could not tell how long her unrefreshing 
sleep had continued, when she was awakened 
by the noise of some wheeled carriage, near the 
house. Arising, in eager anticipation, she flew 
to the window, opened the shutters, and look- 
ed out. It was but a cart pasing down the 
avenue, driven, however, by a man whom, 
under some circumstances disadvantageous to 
liim, or disagreeable to her, she vaguely re- 
membered to have seen before. In fact, she 
beheld Sam Stick-leg, leaving the house, after 
having delivered, according to the orders of his 
chief, the ^^ little thrunk," which, along with 
Nanny's chest, helped to load the cart both 
had driven the previous night from Hartley 
Court. 

Turning from the window, much disappoint- 
ed, and alarmed afresh, though she knew not 
distinctly ^vhy, at this man's appearance, Ehza 
heard a cautious step in the dressing-closet ; 
and, before she had recovered from her start, 
a respectful tap sounded at the door inside, 
and the obsequious voice of her female attend- 
ant requested admission. Ehza opened the 
door and entered the little apartment. To her 



THE CROPPY. 157 

surprise it appeared furnished with all the ele- 
gancies of a lady's toilet — some of them her 
own ; and, following Mrs. Nelly's arrangements 
about the room, her astonishment gained its 
height, when in a wardrobe to one side she 
discovered the individual habiliments she had 
left behind at Hartley Court. 

She demanded an explanation of this mys- 
tery ; but Mrs. Nelly would only inform her, 
that ^' the purty things were sent by them 
that 'ud turn the world inside-out to make 
pleasure for her." 

Eliza, according to her plan, proceeded, as 
cautiously as she knew how, to elicit from the 
woman the information she had before sup- 
pressed ; but except a reiteration that she was 
in a house where all were her humblest slaves, 
and where " Robert 'ud give out the last dhrop 
to keep away hurt or harum from her," Mrs. 
Nelly guarded her secret. And Eliza's suspi- 
cions sprung up anew at this obstinate equivo- 
cation ; and, notwithstanding that the old dame 
seemed so good-natured and even matronly in 
all her little attentions, still there remained a 
doubt that she was acting a part of specious 
dissimulation. 

The day was wearing away without any ap- 



158 THE CROPPY. 

pearance of Sir William Judkin, or any account 
from him, and Eliza'^s terrors and misgivings 
returned in treble force. Yielding to an unde- 
fined impulse, she left her chamber, and walked 
through the house. It was tastily and richly 
fitted up. The thought of escape occurred very 
strongly. She looked round to observe if she 
was alone: Mrs. Nelly, curtseying to her 
glance, stood at the door of the extensive 
drawing-room, into which Eliza had last walk- 
ed. She quitted the apartment, and continued 
to explore the mansion ; and now her duenna 
watched her every movement, and Robert also 
was often encountered, bowing very low when- 
ever Eliza noticed him with her eye, while at 
each bow his absurd queu poked out from his 
shoulders. 

** I am a prisoner,'' thought Eliza; *' let me 
see." 

She approached the hall-door. It was lock- 
ed, and the key removed. She required it to 
be opened, stating her wish to walk towards the 
ruins. 

'' Ah, then, my purty, purty lady," cried 
Mrs. Nelly, ^' sure you couldn't think o' sich a 
thing, — the runes ! ay, the runes an' the runa- 
tion entirely ; how do you know, in the wide 



THE CROPPY. 159 

world, who'd come across you, my lady ? — Oh, 
my gracious goodness ! sure that 'ud be goin* 
in the way o' liarum, sure enough."" 

" I will make the trial — let me have the 
key." 

" The kay doesn't be wid me, my lady ; it's 
Robert shets the dours ; he 's a careful man : 
but for goodness sake, my lady, don't go for to 
put yourself in the way o' them that 'ud do you 
hurt an' harum." 

^* That's my affair, good woman : if, indeed, 
you have been directed to act as my servant, 
obey my orders." 

" Ah, then, it 's I got my good commands, 
my lady, to go undher your feet wid love an' 
honour, sure enough ; an' I'd rather to run o' 
your arrands nor if it was the Queen o' Moro- 
co was bidding me — " 

" Why, then, refuse me the key ? I will 
seek Robert myself." 

But Robert was not far off. Eliza discovered 
by Mrs. Nelly's glance that he stood close behind 
her own back ; and as quickly turning round, 
she detected him staring with distended eyes at 
his fellow-servant, and distorting his mouth into 
a kind of anxious grin, while by raising his arm, 
and urging it downward, he enforced the mean- 



160 THE CROPPY. 

ipg of all his grimace, well understood by Mrs. 
Nelly, as an exhortation not to give up her point. 
When suddenly discovered by Eliza going 
through this dumb-show, he started in the ut- 
most confusion, and then observed, giving his 
usual profound reverence, 

^' The kay, my lady ! the kay o"* that dour ? 
oh— ay, the kay ; I wondher where is it ?" 
looking beseechingly at Mrs. Nelly, who stretch- 
ed out both her hands, and said, in her most 
earnest tone, 

" My gracious goodness, my lady, for the 
love of all the things in the world wide, don't 
be keepin' hould o' that thought — sure they 'd 
run away wid you from us." 

"They.? who?" 

" Who, my lady ? that's what we 're bound 
not to tell." 

'^ Then if you refuse to inform me who or 
what I have to fear, I must doubt your story — 
and I will go forth : — the key, Sir ?" 

" Ah, my lady,we couldn't, w^e couldn't." 

" Then I am a prisoner.'^" 

** A prisoner, my Lady ! Lord save us, 
Misthress Nelly, sure her ladyship isn't a pri- 
soner .?" 



THE CROPPY. 



161 



'' My gracious goodness, my honey, darlin' 
lady, an' sure you 're not — only we 've as good 
as sworn down on the buke to keep you out o' 
hurt or harum." 

" An' my lady,'* seconded Robert, '^ out o* 
hurt an' harum you '11 be kep ; there isn't one 
undher the clouds this day, or any other day, 
'ill daare to look sour at you, while the size o' a 
midge o' poor ould Robert is to the fore." 

" But after all, you will not give the key." 

Having received anew a firm though obse- 
quious answer in the negative, Eliza hastened up 
stairs, all her worst apprehensions overpowering 
her. Mrs. Nelly follov^ed her quickly with 
protestations against the thought of " hurt or 
harum" being meant. Eliza re-entered her bed- 
room, too closely pursued by the old woman to 
allow of excluding her, and unable to hold out 
any longer, sank in a chair, and gave way to her 
excessive grief. Mrs. Nelly threw herself on 
her knees before her, and covering her eyes with 
her wrought muslin apron, sobbed as loudly as 
the young lady herself, beseeching her to take 
comfort, and still vouching that '^ hurt or 
harum*' were not intended ; nor amid the parox- 
ysm of her sorrows could Eliza avoid remark- 



162 THE CROPPY. 

ing that Robert stood outside the door, also 
sobbing, and also declaring, after every sob, 
that " hurt or harum shouldn't come next or 
near her." 

Days thus elapsed, Eliza remaining a prey 
to the worst fears, yet not experiencing any 
misfortune more real than those fears, if her 
imprisonment within the limits of the house 
be excepted, when something at last occur- 
red dreadfully to aggravate the miseries of 
her situation, and to convince her that she was 
indeed the captive of a treacherous enemy ; 
and immediately after, something that led to 
her escape from her detested thraldom. 

It is often, very often, the fate of the heroines 
of stories, to be carried off by some desperate 
man interested in thwarting their schemes of 
happiness ; and while we pronounce it irregu- 
lar, as well as unfortunate, that so many fair and 
deserving beings should be exposed to this cus- 
tomary calamity of novels, we also admit the 
adventure to be a very commonplace one. In 
the present instance, however, the reader's he- 
roine is, in fact and truth, a prisoner without 
any invention of ours ; and farther, we pray 
him to approach our last chapter, ere he classes 



THE CROPPY. 163 

US with the general tribe of abductors, (upon 
paper,) of beauty and innocence. 

Ever since the days of chivalry, too, although 
almost all the ladies-loves of knighthood have 
been thus treacherously forced into durance by 
some dwarf, giant, or enchanter, they have, as 
invariably been rescued and restored to their 
friends by some gallant arm ; and again we 
must record, in our heroine's behalf, a similar 
providential occurrence. But it was no knight, 
with nodding plumes, that achieved the task, 
and no pomp of arms such as used to attend the 
enlargement of lovely captives, graced the 
event ; it was not even an ordinary lover, in 
plain clothes, who appeared as the deliverer of 
our Eliza ; her freedom was the work of a very 
humble, but, as the reader has already judged 
her, a very clever old personage, — no other, in 
fact, than our friend Nanny the Knitter, who, 
joined to her love for her ward, so she always 
considered EHza, might have drawn from the 
experience of her own late captivity, a benevo- 
lent motive to assist all poor prisoners. 

At the reader's last parting from Nanny, 
she was in view of a cabin, under the roof of 
which she hoped for temporary concealment 



164 THE CROITY. 

from the man whom she had many reasons to 
consider as " the fell destroyer." 

This cabin proved to be the abode of a sister 
of Shawn-a-Gow, who, many years ago, had 
been married to a small farmer ; and Kitty 
Gow now found protection in it, since the break- 
ing-up of Sir Thomas Hartley**s establishment 
had deprived her of a more comfortable home. 
Her aunfs husband, and her two sons, had 
gone to join the insurgent standard, whether 
wilUngly or not cannot positively be stated ; but 
even disinclination could not have served to 
keep them inactive, as detachments had been 
sent to rout out the male inhabitants of every 
cabin, and demur to their summons must have 
only caused death at their hands. Illness pre- 
vented the wife from following her husband, 
and her daughters remained to attend her ; 
otherwise, poor Kitty Gow might again have 
wanted an asylum, and the poor Knitter a ready 
place of refuge. 

Under present circumstances, however, old 
Nanny was favourably received ; such indeed 
must have proved the case amongst any of her 
acquaintances ; nay, amongst total strangers ; 
for even under a roof quite new to her, Nanny 
never yet had failed to establish herself in the 



THE CROPPY. 165 

snuggest corner, and to resume the proprietor- 
ship of it whenever she again came within its 
attractive influence. 

Nanny displayed her person and her head, 
sorely bruised and battered, and cried — " Oh ! 
asy, asy, asy, my honey pet !" as Kitty Delou- 
chery, and the commiserating girls of the 
house, examined various protuberances that felt 
very soft to the touch. Half the day was 
spent in the recital of her moving and wondrous 
adventure, and in moaning and wailing in all the 
pathos of pain ; and at length the poor Knitter 
felt so really ill as to be compelled ^^ to take to 
the bed," with a prospect of not rising thence 
for many days. 

This was an affliction to her almost as sore 
as her durance in the chest, or as the bruises it 
had conferred ; for, up'on entering the cabin, she 
looked to the undertaking her plans for the re- 
lief of the heiress of Hartley Court almost im- 
mediately ; and her fretting at the disappoint- 
ment, and her extreme anxiety again to have 
the use of her alert limbs, only retarded her 
uprise. 

But although Nanny's confinement of some 
days postponed her generous and heroic pur- 
pose, perhaps, by aferding time for sedate re- 



166 THE CROPPY. 

flection, it contributed to, rather than detracted 
from, the chances of ultimate success. Her first 
impulse had been to seek out Sir William Jud- 
kin, and inform him where to find his wife ; but 
amid the after-thoughts of her lonely pillow, 
Nanny reflected that, supposing Sir AVilliam 
delivered from prison, (a matter she strongly 
doubted,) he was, according to the admissions of 
Rattling Bill, overheard in her chest, either too 
closely watched to allow of his acting benefi- 
cially, or — ^^ The Lord have marcy on his sowl 
in glory, above, amin r — dead and buried by 
this time in the church-yard of Dunbrody. 
To confer with him, therefore, were impossible, 
in the latter case ; or a useless waste of time, 
already too much wasted, in the former case. 
Nay, did he yet live, and live even with full 
liberty to take his own measures, he would go 
too hotly and incautiously to work ; would too 
openly approach the place of his wife's con- 
cealment, and afford, by his first movement, a 
signal to Talbot to convey her to some other 
place, whither neither he nor Nanny could trace 
her. The result of all these cogitations, there- 
fore, was, that she, Nanny, and no other person, 
— except, indeed, that " purty Kitty Gow," 
might be called in as an assistant, — was capable 



THE CROPPY. 167 

of undertaking the liberation of Eliza. And 
so, having at length recovered the use of her per- 
severing, if not nimble feet, the Knitter, secretly 
abetted by the young counsellor just mentioned, 
engaged in the necessary measures for her ex- 
ploit. 

But, before her appearance on the scene of 
action, it is proper that Eliza should again be 
visited in her solitude. 

For a few days she had borne up, with w^hat 
resignation she could, against the agitating un- 
certainties of her state : Mrs. Nelly, still very 
obsequious, commiserating, and, Eliza feared, 
sycophantic ; and her colleague Robert, always 
bowing whenever his fair charge appeared in 
view. Upon the evening of the fifth day, after 
twihght, and while pronouncing her usual part- 
ing benediction of — " The blessin' o' God be 
wid you an' about you, my lady !" Mrs. Nelly 
handed our heroine a thick letter, and with- 
drew. 

Eliza gazed on the superscription. Again 
the hand was, or seemed beyond doubt, to be 
her father's. She hastily broke the seal, and, 
with what feelings may easily be imagined, read 
the following terrible communication : — 



168 THE CROPPY. 
'' MY BELOVED CHILD 

" In a very few days more I shall be free to 
embrace you, and resume my place in society. 
My indefatigable friend has succeeded in mak 
ing a favourable impression of my case upon 
Government, and we but await the official pro- 
ceedings, which are to effect an unqualified re- 
versal of the sentence of the court-martial. So, 
my own Eliza, keep up your spirits, and your 
admirable strength of mind, to give me a good 
welcome — and you will need both on another 
account : though your father is to be restored to 
you, Eliza, you have much to suffer — yet much 
to rejoice at, too; much for which to thank and 
glorify God. Attend : — When, upon the night 
of our rapid journey to your house of refuge, 
you asked me questions concerning a certain 
individual, I did not decline answering them 
merely because the rude guide might overhear 
us. — No, Eliza, I was too dreadfully agitated at 
the mentioning of that mail's name, to trust my- 
self in reply ; — the abruptness of my answer 
might have destroyed you ; or, at best, so much 
shocked you, as to interrupt our journey, and 
so provoke the most disastrous consequences. 
I saw the necessity of allowing myself to cool 
before we held farther communication on the 



THE CROPPY. 169 

subject, and of placing you in a situation, where 
the effects upon you of what I had to tell would 
be attended with less peril to us all. 

*' Now, my dearest child, I will answer your 
questions. You demanded intelligence con- 
cerning your husband. You have no husband ! 
Start not, (yet, at least,) nor mistake my mean- 
ing. The man — the fiend you call so, yet 
lives — but you wrongly call him so — he is not 
your husband ! Hearken to an explanation, 
which can but be given in the form of a state- 
ment that, while it fully explains your predica- 
ment, will also supply a clue to my late and 
present situation. 

" Before he saw you, or at least addressed 
you, he had won the heart of a beautiful young 
creature w4io loved him to excess — to a wild, a 
passionate excess, unfeminine, if not degrading. 
She was the daughter of a woman of high birth, 
but of passions and dispositions exceeding her 
own in strength, in obstinacy, and indeed in 
quality. This wretched mother of a wretched 
daughter, was at once as haughty and impetuous 
in spirit, as she was grovelling in inclination. 
Partly to escape a match she detested —partly 
to indulge an unworthy preference — she eloped 
from her father's house with a man of obscure 

VOL. III. I 



170 THE CROPPY. 

birth, mean, and even vicious habits, and who 
was recommended to her eye alone, by a toler- 
able exterior, and a bold address. After the first 
burst of her rash and ignoble passion, she soon 
discovered to what a wretch she had attached 
herself ; and, cut off, by her own act, from a 
return to her family and to society, she aban- 
doned her despicable companion, husband, I 
believe, and retired from his view into a remote 
solitude, where was born the victim of Sir 
W J 's villany. 

'^ The unhappy woman now had an object in 
existence. It became her anxious wish and en- 
deavour to educate her daughter for a place in 
that society which was shut against herself. She 
partially succeeded ; but her lonely communings 
with her child did not assist other and better 
impressions, nor help to subdue the dangerous 
strength of passion, the gloominess of mind, and 
the haughty and revengeful spirit she had trans- 
mitted to her. 

^' The tempter appeared, and mother, as well 
as daughter, eagerly countenanced his atten- 
tions; the one, because she saw in him a man 
who, by espousing her child, could place her in 
rank and station ; the other, as I have said, be- 
cause she extravagantly loved him. His visits 



THE CHOPPY. 171 

to their romantic solitude were frequent ; — let 
me dispatch this point at once : — under a pro- 
mise of marriage he destroyed his victim. 

" After some time, the deluded girl heard that 
he had paid his addresses to you. Giving way 
to the stern vehemence of her nature, now 
heightened by almost every goading passion, 
she quitted her home, and hastened to confront 
him. They met in Waterford, where he was 
transacting some business. Accusations and 
reproaches passed between them. She taxed 
him with his infidelity ; reminded him of his 
oaths to her ; intimated that she must soon be- 
come a mother ; and plainly and proudly told 
him that at the very altar she would step be- 
tween him and you. 

*^ The wily fiend laughed at her fury ; swore 
that he had never entertained the most remote 
idea of abandoning her; that the rumour of 
his attentions to you was false ; that his love 
for her was as strong as ever ; and to prove his 
assertions, he proposed to make her his wife 
without loss of time. 

*' Again she trusted him. The circumstance 
of his procuring a disgraced clergyman to ce- 
lebrate the marriage ceremony did not arouse 
her suspicions, although the man was intoxi- 
I 2 



172 THE CROPPY. 

cated while he performed his office, and was 
incapable of comprehending the rank or even 
the names of the parties. 

^' Restored to her destroyer's endearments; 
she once more gave way to romantic bliss. He 
proposed a pleasurable excursion on the water 
about Dunbrody, near to his residence, in 
which she was to assume her place as wife and 
mistress. Attended by one servant, they em- 
barked in a small boat upon the wide river. — 
Now, Eliza, my dear and precious treasure, so 
miraculously saved — summon all your strength 
of mind to note the sequel. — They were in the 
midst of the expanse of water. Night and 
silence reigned around them. Her arm was 
round his neck, and she whispered into his ear 
her enjoyment of the sweet solemnity of the 
scene, as his bride, and while the heart was 
happy. Even in the dim light, she saw his 
brow suddenly darken. He snatched a pistol 
from his bosom, and struck her with it on the 
forehead. She fell, uttering one loud scream ; 
blow followed blow, now dealt by the servant 
as well as by the master, and she retained, for 
a moment, just as much consciousness as in- 
formed her that both were engaged in perpe- 
tating a preconcerted murder. She had sealed 



THE CROPPY. 173 

her doom, when she told him that, while she 
lived she would stand between him and you. 

" They must have deemed her dead, under 
repeated blows, although Providence willed 
that they should err in their conclusions; for 
she partially regained her senses, struggling in 
the water into which they had cast her. Per- 
ception again failed; and at its next return, 
she^ vaguely apprehended that she was in an- 
other boat, rowed by two vulgar men. 

" By their conversation, it appeared that, 
walking by the banks of the broad river, they 
had heard her scream, and possessing them- 
selves of a boat, which lay pulled up from the 
influence of the tide, rowed out and saved her. 
But their farther discourse told that they 
thought her dead ; and by word, by groan, or 
cry, she did not undeceive them. The first 
forming of a dreadful resolution, suggested 
even with the faintest return of consciousness, 
kept her silent. 

^^ The men conveyed her to a miserable 
cabin, tenanted by an old woman and her 
daughter, and one of them undertook to dress 
her wounds, and skilfully performed the task. 
This individual manifested towards her an 
anxiety, and even a gentleness, very different 



174 THE CEOPtY. 

from his boisterous manner to others, for which 
he roughly swore he could not account. He 
questioned her often as to the names of the 
perpetrators of the outrage upon her ; but 
still, though allowing them to see she was now 
sensible, the sufferer kept her secret. Other 
pangs besides those caused by the murderous 
hand of her demon-husband, racked her frame ; 
— ^nay, he had directly caused even these. The 
men withdrew ; and attended by the old wo- 
man and her daughter, she was prematurely 
delivered of a dead infant. She asked to look 
upon it ; a glance told her that its father's 
blows had killed it. And there, in that wretch- 
ed hovel, stretched upon her damp straw, groan- 
ing beneath her festering wounds, and feebly 
pressing her murdered baby to her heart, the 
purpose before thought of settled into deep 
resolution. With that broken and despairing 
heart she sw^ore, should she live, to live but for 
revenge ; and for a I'evenge she regarded as 
rightful. 

" But it seemed that she could not live ; and 
the boisterous man inquired if she had no re- 
lations to whom it would be well to convey 
intelligence of her state. Still she was silent ; 
until, at a moment when she thought her death 



THE CHOPPY. 175 

inevitable, she called him to her side, and men- 
tioned her mother's name. He started — and 
seemed as much agitated as a man of his nature 
and habits could be. An explanation ensued ; 
and in the person of her vulgar and swagger- 
ing deliverer, the unhappy girl discovered a 
father. 

" He left her to seek the abode of the wife 
who for nineteen years he had not seen, and 
the victim's mother flew to her miserable couch. 
The shock almost instantly killed that haughty 
and fallen lady; the only hope of a whole life 
lay wrecked before her ; and her last sob was 
given upon the feeble body of her child — but 
not before she had caused the sufferer to clasp 
hands with her across the little corse that lay 
between them, and renew the oath previously 
sworn. 

'' The widowed and childless orphan saw in 
this additional misery of her mother's death, 
fresh cause to repeat, indeed, and to strengthen 
hev former dread resolution. And even her 
profligate father, who witnessed the scene, knelt, 
unasked, and voluntarily devoted himself to act 
as the agent of her vengeance. 

" His daughter, though at another time she 
would have shunned all connexion with him, 



176 



THE cuoppr. 



now felt no shame of the parent who appeared 
fitted as well as anxious to promote her pur- 
pose. And he obviously seemed as much awed 
into interest by the lofty and lady-like cha- 
racter of his newly-discovered offspring, as he 
was induced to aid her at the prompting of 
any natural affection. In obedience to her first 
wishes, he and his companion secretly convey- 
ed, to a certain place of burial, the corses of 
her mother and of her infant. Returning to her 
straw couch, he was fully admitted into her 
confidence : and he swore to place her destroyer 
at her mercy, under circumstances that would 
permit her to deal with him as her dark heart 
longed, and had more than once vowed to do ; 
and, while she yet lay prostrate, he set off 

to contrive the secret capture of Sir W 

J , before he should become wedded — nomi- 
nally — to you, Eliza ; — for the prevention of 
that event was as anxiously desired by your 
wretched rival, as was the accomplishment of 
her actual revenge upon her — husband : indeed, 
she had instructed her father to prevent it by 
any measures he could devise, provided that, 

in the mean time, J escaped his grasp. 

" You have seen, Ehza, the man so often men- 
tioned. You saw him in the character of a jug- 



THE CROPPY. 177 

gler upon the review-field, almost the first day 
of his appearance abroad, in prosecution of his 
plans. You know, too, of one of his attempts 
to secure the person of his daughter's betrayer : 
I allude to the night when Priest Rourke res- 
cued Sir W J . But, governed by 

his double instructions, he intrigued to prevent 
the expected marriage between that fiend and 
you, at the same time that he sought to get 
him into his power, lest— as indeed it proved to 
be the case — his efforts in the latter instance 
should fail. And now I approach a part of 
my statement which relates to my own recent 
and present situations, as nearly as it does to 
yours. 

" Although this agent, Nale, felt, perhaps, 
really zealous for his daughter's sake, his cha- 
racter, and the habits of his whole life, rendered 
it impossible that he could act even in her re- 
gard without at the same time attending to his 
personal interests. In this view, instead of 
openly coming to me, and warning me of my 
beloved child's danger, he sought out your old 
admirer, Harry Talbot, of whose former rela- 
tion towards you he soon made himself aware, 
and from whose chafing state of mind he cun- 
ningly calculated his own mean advantages, 
I 5 



178 THE CROPPY. 

And by slow degrees, only, and indifference 
to repeated bribes, did be communicate to 
Talbot any important information ; altbough, at 
the very first, he declared himself the possessor 

of a secret which would prove J a villain, 

at the mercy of the laws of his country, and 
effectually put an end to the acquaintance be- 
tween you and him : thus, of course, arousing 
in the breast of the rejected lover an eager 
interest which he well knew how to turn to 
account. 

^' The tangible communication he at last 
made was contained in the charge preferred 
against Judkin by Talbot, to your own ear, 
Ehza. But at the moment when Nale hinted 
this terrible fact, he had warned Talbot not 
for some time to divulge or proceed upon it. 
The man awaited his daughter's restoration to 
health, or at least, a renewed consultation with 
her, before he would authorize a story, of which 
her personal appearance was the most neces- 
sary proof. But, hurried away by his min- 
gled feelings of love for you, and, I believe, 
sincere alarm on your account, your old friend 
forgot this warning ; and thus Nale, still un- 
able to advise with his daughter, did not hesi- 
tate to deny, before Magistrate Whaley, that 



THE CROPPY. 179 

he had ever been authority for the startling 
accusation. 

" Meantime, a day was named for your mar- 
riage, and Nale, consistently with his atrocious 
character, had recourse to the most diabolical 
scheme for preventing its occurrence. And 
again you will find him urged on as much by 
a base selfishness, as by zeal in his true cause, 
for exertion. He planned, that if he could 

make out against J or me a plausible 

charge of disloyalty, the arrest of either would 
at once postpone your union, and entitle him, 
as informer, to a high reward ; in other in- 
stances, he has played double with the wretched 
insurgents; but from this speculation, consider- 
ing the importance that must attach to his ser- 
vices on account of our rank, he hoped to draw 
superior advantages. 

" It is to be presumed, that, with the chances 
of success equal to his view, he might have 

preferred J as the victim of his peculiar 

rascality ; though I question even that, seeing 
how determined his unhappy daugliter was to 
get her destroyer into her own hands, that she 
might herself inflict vengeance upon him. At 
all events, Nale could not fix on so many ap- 
pearances in J 's conduct and actions capa- 



180 THE CROPPY. 

ble of being turned into evidence of disaffection, 
as he detected in mine; and accordingly, al- 

tliough J , too, was arrested along with me, 

in order to secure a separation between him 
and you, and, indeed, to dispose him for the fate 
to which his desperate wife had doomed him, 
against me became directed the immediate shafts 
of false evidence. 

" I come to the last fact that it is at present 
prudent to communicate. The very night be- 
fore the day appointed for your marriage, 3; our 
poor rival, at length able to exert herself in her 
own behalf, sought out Nale, and learned from 
him his abominable scheme for carrying her 
wishes into effect. She learned, in real horror, 
that the villain had coolly sacrificed me, as well 
to promote her purpose, as to gratify his own 
thirst of money. She flew to a person who, 
without exposing her despicable parent, might, 
she hoped, interfere to protect me. That per- 
son had already known of Nale's plot, and, 
certainly in the most sagacious way, had re- 
solved upon measures to defeat it. The result 
proves, indeed, how wisely, as well as how 
anxiously, he exerted himself to save your 
father, Eliza ; for I speak of the friend before 
mentioned, to whom we owe all. 



THE CROPPY. 181 

" I conclude, by warning you that it is not 
upon Talbot's previous assertion of the \illany 
of J , I now require you to credit the state- 
ments of this letter. Not even upon the alle- 
gations of Nale do I ask you to credit them. I 
have seen and conversed with the wretched 
heroine of my dark story, and from her own 
lips received all the facts I communicate to you. 
You have yourself seen and conversed with her, 
Ehza, though not in reference to this subject. 
She was the bearer of my first letter to you in 
Enniscorthy, and afterwards your guide to the 
spot where you met me. And in farther ex- 
planation of what I write, you shall see her 
again, perhaps before I can be quite at hberty 
to anticipate her visit. One word more I will 
add about her. It is the wish and effort of my 
friend and myself to save her destroyer from 
her personal revenge ; although we can but 
save him for the more sedate vengeance of the 
laws of his country. 

" Farewell, my beloved, my cherished, and 
wonderfully- preserved child ! God's peace be 
with you where you are, until you can be folded 
to the heart of your doting father, 

T. H." 



182 THE CROPPY. 



CHAPTER VII. 

Before giving the letter which concludes the 
last chapter, the reader was left to imagine the 
feelings with which it was perused by Eliza, in 
preference to attempting any description of them. 
And we must now do the same thing, acknow- 
ledging our inability to follow the workings of 
her heart at the first shock of this demonstration 
of the fiendish perfidy of Sir William Judkin ; — 
for demonstration Eliza took the letter to be. 
A doubt of its authenticity never once occurred 
to her. Every word read Hke truth, and like 
the very words of her father : and if for an 
instant any parts of it seemed strange, and 
strange only, as coming from him, they were 
those in which, notwithstanding the clear proofs 
of Talbofs bad and black character, evident in 
his arrest of his former friend, and in his con- 
duct to herself at the castle of Enniscorthy, her 
beloved parent seemed to allude with toleration 
to that person. 



THE CROPPY. 183 

After many pauses, after having often drop- 
ped it from her hand, or started up, clinging to 
her chair; or, feeling possessed of only as much 
strength as enabled her to reach for a gulp of 
water, after having often remained motionless 
in that chair, during several minutes, Eliza at 
length finished the perusal of this, to her, appal- 
ing document. And still she sat motionless, 
except for occasional shudderings, and tear- 
less, too, when she heard the key turn, with 
scarce a sound, in the lock of her chamber-door, 
and then the handle was very gently moved, 
and a very gentle pull given. 

Starting up in the utmost alarm, though she 
knew not distinctly why, Eliza hastened to ascer- 
tain if she had fastened the door on the inside. 
The bolt was indeed shot home ; and she paused 
with suspended breath to observe what next 
would take place. 

There came two almost silent knocks, as if 
little knobs of velvet had tapped. Eliza re- 
mained still as possible. The soft challenge 
was repeated ; and then, after another pause, 
the faintest breath of a whisper trembled 
through the key-hole. 

'* It 's poor ould Nanny, Lady Eleezabeth 
Judkin, barrowknight, my honey pet." 



184 THE CROPPY. 

" Nanny !" whispered Eliza, in reply, ut- 
terly amazed : " Nanny ! impossible !" 

She touched the bolt with her finger, but he- 
sitated. 

*• Don't be a bit afeard, Lady Eleezabeth, 
my honey pet ; it 's poor ould Nanny, as sure as 
I'm a lump iv a sinner this blessed night." 

It was the Knitter's peculiar dialect, indeed, 
and an accompanying gurgle, quite distinct 
from any intonation of any other of the human 
species, which removed all Eliza's doubts, and 
convinced her that her old counsellor sought an 
audience. Imitating Nanny's proceedings, she 
gently undid the bolt ; and it seemed that, 
without the slightest creak, the door self-unfold- 
ed ; for Nanny had continued to hold the lock- 
handle in the opening twist, to which her second 
evolution brought it ; and then, an inhabitant 
of the regions of spirits never moved more noise- 
lessly than did the very palpable old dame. 
Giving a peculiar look of caution, she very slowly 
coaxed the door to its closing position, and as 
slowly, and quite as imperceptibly to the ear, 
permitted the self-acting handle to revolve un- 
til it had again stolen into its place the bolt it 
commanded. 

" Nanny !" Eliza continued to repeat, " I 



THE CROPPy. 185 

can scarce believe my eyes;'' and the sight of 
the old woman was some little comfort to her 
heart, inasmuch as from her habits of close, 
and all but omnipresent observation, she in- 
stantly reckoned on receiving some welcome or 
necessary tidings concerning the world without. 
^' Hooshth, hooshth, I.ady Eleezabeth, my 
honey !" cautioned Nanny^ as she completed 
her precautions of bolting, and even locking the 
door, each operation being just as noiseless as 
any that had preceded it. 

" Have you been sent to me ? — and by 
whom ?'' 

Nanny repeated her " hooshth/' for she had 
not yet quite done with bolt and key. 

" Or if not, how, in Heaven's name, have you 
found your way hither ?" 

" Hooshth, Lady Eleezabeth, my duck-o'-de- 
mons ! — discoorse asy, or we *re spiled for ever : 
them ears o' Nelly abroad, though they're on 
the head o' the gossip o"* me, that stood for the 
little daughther I have doin' for herself in 
Ross town, they 'd hear the dhroppin' o' the 
weeniest minikin pin that ever stuck in a sto- 
macher. So we '11 stale as asy as ever we can, 
an' we'll plank ourselves doun in the corner 
beyant the bed, where the candle doesn't shine ; 



186 THE CROPPY. 

an' where the talk '11 be kep in, an*" we '11 con- 
varse about what brought ould Nanny to be 
so bould afore a lady o' the land." 

And with the velvet pace of a cat, when 
stealing over the carpet in an apartment where 
she knows she has no right to be, Nanny led the 
way to the secret corner, and while Eliza oc- 
cupied a chair opposite to her, there " planked 
herself on her hunkers," and resumed, — " An* 
it 's who sent me to you, you 're axin', Lady 
Eleezabeth, my honey ; an' sure, barrin' Divine 
Providence, this blessed an' holy night, no one 
sent ould Nanny bud herself ; an"* many a weary 
turnin"* an' twinin' she had afore she could bring 
her poor ould four bones foment you, my 
honey pet." 

And even under the urgent circumstances of 
the present case, when she knew and felt in her 
heart that every moment uselessly spent ex- 
posed her to detection, Nanny yet commenced 
her series of details with that very one she 
might have omitted, so much was she accus- 
tomed to a leisurely, digressive ramble, as Mell 
in her discourse, as in her personal peregrina- 
tions. It happened, however, singularly enough, 
that on this occasion, her idle gossip to her 
young patroness supplies the last link of her 



THE CROPPY. 187 

proceedings since we last saw her, with which, 
previous to the dispatch of her real business, 
it may be necessary to acquaint the reader. 

The day before her present appearance, she 
had called, just by chance, as it were, to visit, 
in Captain Talbot's new house the same house- 
keeper, Mrs. Nelly, with whom she had for- 
merly been intimate in that gentleman's other 
house, about two miles from Hartley Court, 
and who was, indeed, godmother to " the little 
daughther iv her." The gossips relished each 
other's society, and, with slight pressing, though 
much would have been offered if necessary, 
Nanny agreed to " stop the night." Towards 
evening, in consequence of some cautious hints, 
Mrs. Nanny took her visitor to inspect the fine 
new house ; and Nanny saw the inside of every 
room under its roof, except two, which, ac- 
cording to her cicerone, were occupied by " an 
ould friend o' the masther's hidin' in 'em from 
hurt an' harum." 

This hint was quite enough for the observant 
Knitter. The friends returned down-stairs to 
their tea, and Nanny, with great satisfaction, 
saw her hostess infuse a considerable quantity 
of strong whiskey into each cup, as a sovereign 
remedy (and Nanny agreed that it was) against 



188 THE CROPPY. 

what Mrs. Nelly called the " wather-flash in the 
stimach." But for this night she took no ad- 
vantage of her discovery of the housekeeper's 
habit of thus prescribing for her imaginary 
complaint. 

Next morning, *' afther her good break'ast, 
bless the providhers !" the old woman set out to 
complete her arrangements with Kitty Gow, 
promising to return " by the night-fall to her 
little bit o' supper, an' a snug bed for hersef." 
She kept her promise ; and, soon after Mrs. 
Nelly's departure from Eliza, joined the house- 
keeper in her room, and found her again much 
troubled with " the wather-flash," and disposed 
to attack it with her usual specific. And now 
Nanny's praise of the remedy was downright 
eloquent, and she kindly admonished Mrs. 
Nelly to repeat it more than once ; nay, when 
the most violent *^ wather-flash" must needs 
have been got under, (else were there no virtue 
in the medicine,) the patient consented, after a 
little earnest advice from her friend, to put " jist 
another three or four spoonfuls in her tay, to 
hendher id from comin' on in the night-time ;" so 
that, long before her usual hour, partly under 
the influence of the powerful soporific, partly 
under that of Nanny's no less lulling accents, — 



THE CROPPY. 189 

a monotonous rumble of voice, well calculated, 
like the wind through a keyhole at night, to set 
any one asleep, — Mrs. Nelly began, as her crony 
termed it, " to pay compliments ;"" that is, with 
gradually-closing lids, to drop her head on her 
breast, raise it, half conscious of the weakness, 
and then, as suddenly let it drop again ; her 
mouth wearing all the while a curious kind of 
vague smile, that seemed to betoken her last 
fading sense of a polite necessity to respond to 
the unheard gabble of her entertaining guest. 

By degrees Nanny lowered her voice, lest an 
abrupt change from talking to silence might 
have an unwished-for effect ; and at length, re- 
joiced to see that the housekeeper slept pro- 
foundly. In a few minutes afterwards she was 
at Eliza's chamber-door, but not for many mi- 
nutes after that had she finished to her liking 
the first account of herself, which is here con- 
siderably abridged, in deference to the impa- 
tience of the reader. 

Her next roundabout story consisted of a mi- 
nute account of the secret arrangements of Kitty 
Gow and herself to accomplish the escape of 
Eliza from her state of durance ; concluding 
with the intelligence that Kitty waited that 
moment, with a horse and pillion, in a secret 



190 THE CROPPY. 

place near to the house, to become the guide of 
our heroine to the town of Ross, where Nanny's 
daughter would afford to both a shelter and 
a welcome. 

Eliza now naturally inquired into the reason 
for Nanny's great anxiety to remove her from 
her present situation. She had heard the old 
woman confirm her own first suspicions, that she 
was under Talbot's roof, and thence inferred, 
doubtless sufficient cause in her own mind, for 
abandoning it as soon as possible ; but she fore- 
saw, that merely this fact could not endue her 
friend with the unusual zeal she now mani- 
fested. 

The history, at full length, of the Knitter's 
imprisonment in the chest followed; involving 
her report of the direful discourse held between 
Rattling Bill and Sam Stick-leg during her iti- 
nerant captivity. Eliza listened in great agi- 
tation to Nanny's version of the declarations of 
Nale with respect to herself and Sir William, 
by which it strongly appeared that the young 
Baronet was to be murdered, as she had been 
ensnared and deprived of her liberty, in order 
to forward the views of Talbot upon herself; — 
" He 's only waitin', my honey pet," said 
Nanny, half reporting, half commenting, '* until 



THE CKOrPY. 191 

the darlin' iv a Sir William 'ill be berred in 
Dunbrody, abroad there, an' then he'll make 
you marry him in spite o' the world." And 
at this intelligence, so much to be relied on, 
Eliza instantly began to recur to all her former 
conclusions of treachery, and to doubt, — won- 
dering how she could for a moment have omit- 
ted to do so — the last epistle, professing to 
come from her father. 

Nanny could not be raving or romancing. 
The zeal and the disinterested heroism with 
which she had dared so many dangers to avert 
from her patroness the evil she believed hung 
over her, proved that she was not : proved that 
her motive to action must have been derived 
from the unquestionable evidence of her very 
correct ears. And if so, did it npt appear plain 
that the whole story of Sir William's perfidy, 
as well as the letter which conveyed it, was in- 
vented by Talbot to further his presumptuous 
hopes of Eliza'*s favour ? to dislodge his rival 
from her esteem, in order that a vacant place 
might be left for his future recommendation of 
himself.? Nay, such recommendation had already 
lurked in the artful pages of that very letter : 
seemingly, under her father's hand, the wily 
enemy had sought to place some of his for- 



192 THE CHOPPY. 

mer actions favourably before her ; and Eliza 
brought to mind, that even while no doubt of 
the beguiling document occurred, she had in- 
stinctively wondered, considering it penned by 
her father, at that obvious discrepancy ; and 
from all this new conviction, her heart turned 
not only with renewed interest, but with trem- 
bling alarm for his safety, to the slandered and 
persecuted Sir William, and in the belief that 
she, as well as his foes, had wronged him, tears 
of self-reproach filled her eyes, followed by tears 
of joy that she again could think him worthy of 
her confidence. 

But she was yet to receive more decisive 
proof of the truth of her reasonings. While 
reporting the memorable dialogue held at each 
side of the chest, Nanny had, as yet, forgotten 
or suppressed many important passages; for ex- 
ample, to say nothing of Nale's allusions to his 
being directed and " driven," by some unknown 
woman, in his designs upon Sir William Judkin, 
she never once repeated the words of that scoun- 
drel and his comrade, in reference to Sir Tho- 
mas Hartley's death : and while the former 
omission might have been merely accidental, the 
latter, perhaps, chiefly arose out of delicacy to 
Ehza's " throuble, on the head o' the hangin' iv 



THE CROPPY. 193 

the darlin' father iv her ;"' for so Nanny after- 
wards professed ; it never having entered into 
her thoughts to conceive that Eliza had so long 
remained ignorant of what " all the world were 
risin'' up their hands and eyes, wondherin at." 

In answer, however, to Eliza'*s inquiries con- 
cerning the last account our Knitter could give 
of Sir William Judkin, the overwhelming intel- 
ligence at length reached our heroine. 

" Iv all the nights o' the year, Lady Eleeza- 
beth, my pet, it was last Monday night, or 
'twould be the fitther to call it last Tuesday 
mornin**, au' we wor hard at work, mysef an* 
Misthress Flannigan, an' Misther Flannigan, the 
butler, hidin' the plate an' all the things at 
Hartley Coort from the covetous yeomen, that 
we spected 'ud call back to take a loock at id 
afther we knew for sart'n that the darlin' Sir 
Thomas, — God be good to his sowl in glory ! 

amin, — was murthered from us " 

Eliza, with a quick catching of her breath, 
seized the woman's arm. 

*^ Hah ! what do you say ?" 

" Not all out so arly in the night, Lady Elee- 

zabeth, my honey ; my ould tongue said it tdb 

pat — no, not till about two hours, or two hours 

an' a half afther, as I hard from the mouths o"" 

VOL. III. K 



194 THE CROPPY. 

many that knows it well — yeomen, that stood 
by at tlie gallow's foot, as well as others — **' 

" Wretched old woman, be brief ! what gal- 
low's foot ? whom did they stand by to see exe- 
cuted ?" 

" Ochone ! ochone ! an' who, an' who ! an' 
who ud be worth talkin' iv, Lady Eleezabeth, 
my honey pet ? who, when so many are sthrung 
up like dogs an' cats every hour o' the blessed 
day an' night ! who, bud him that the world 
wide, man, woman an' child, are cryin' afther, 
from that day to this ; — last Monday night, or 
what's the fitther to call id, last Tuesday morn- 
in' ! who, who, my poor graw iv a pet, but the 
honey darlin' father o' you. Lady Eleezabeth, 
you poor crature !" 

Ere Nanny had quite ended, her auditor, 
without a single cry or groan, lay senseless at 
her feet. 

It was a considerable time before the ap- 
palled gossip could succeed in restoring anima- 
tion. As she seldom, however, allowed her 
feelings to overcome her judgment, Nanny ac- 
tively engaged in all the usual methods adopted 
on such occasions, and at length saw her young 
friend able to sit up and gaze around her. 
Then the old dame, conscious of the enormous 



THE CROPPY. 195 

impropriety she had committed in not ascer- 
taining the extent of Eliza's information with 
regard to her father's death, previous to her 
own abrupt allusion, hastened to make a lowly 
apology. 

" I ax God's pardon, an"* your pardon. Lady 
Eleezabeth, my darlin' o' the ^vorld," and push- 
ing herself from her sitting position on her 
heels, to her knees, she fell on the palms of her 
hands, and three times kissed the floor at Eliza'*s 
feet. 

" Say once again distinctly, what you said 
just now — let me be sure I understand you,'"* 
commanded Eliza, in a hollow voice. 

" It was about — " whispered Nanny. 

" My father !" 

*' Och, ay ! but I 'm a'most afeard to say it 
again, you look so frightened, my honey pet." 

'* Go on !" and Eliza did not abate one scin- 
tilla of the information Nanny could convey. 
That her father had indeed been executed 
upon the night of her rapid journey from En- 
niscorthy to her present place of imprisonment 
— that Captain Talbot had been foremost in 
precipitating his fate — that, in the same spirit 
in which he had refused our heroine admission 
to the castle of Enniscorthy, he had also openly 
K 2 



196 



THE CROPPY. 



repulsed the witnesses who came to tender their 
evidence in favour of his old friend — and finally, 
that, in the dead hour of night, he had stood 
at the gallow's foot until the last breath escaped 
his victim ; all this Eliza learned as matter-of- 
fact publicly known for many days past, and 
not denied by Talbot himself. 

Benumbing to her mental faculties as was 
Eliza's tearless despair at this information, still 
she received from it the last incontrovertible 
proof, that since the moment of the strange 
woman's appearance before her in the inn at 
Enniscorthy, down to the present hour, decep- 
tion and treachery had been practised upon 
her. It now admitted of no debate, that the 
two letters bearing her poor father's signature 
were base forgeries, that an impostor had per- 
sonated him during her flight to Talbot's house, 
and that the author of this tissue of villany 
and deceit — the monster, Talbot, the murderer 
of her father, perhaps of her husband, whom 
in his insidious epistle he had so slandered — 
detained her under his roof, only awaiting his 
time to present himself before her. 

While these thoughts became fixed in her 
stunned mind, Nanny watched her with much 
alarm, for Eliza, sitting still as a statue, and 



THE CROPPY. 197 

her face pale and rigid as death, kept her dry 
burning eyes vacantly bent on the old woman. 
The Knitter, by all forms of condolence with 
which she was acquainted, tried to break 
through this most wretched of all the mani- 
festations of grief, interlarding her appeals with 
continued allusions to the necessity for instant 
flight from the house in which they then were, 
and to the perfect state of readiness in which 
they would find Kitty Gow, close at hand. 

" Come r at last exclaimed Eliza, starting 
up with a suddenness that made Nanny bound 
aside, frog-like ; and her patroness immediately 
set about arraying herself for a journey. 

Nanny, still more alarmed at the uncalculat- 
ing noise occasioned by Eliza's vehement mo- 
tions and proceedings, humbly remonstrated 
upon the necessity of " doin"* every thing quite 
an' asy ;" — also adding, that before they could 
venture to leave the house together, it be- 
hoved her " to stale down stairs, widout makin' 
mooch noise wid her feet," and ascertain if all 
was favourable for their perilous attempt. 

'' Go, then !" said Eliza, in a tone of voice 
still so little modulated to the necessities of the 
case, that Nanny saw it would be better not to 
provoke her into farther conversation. With- 



198 THE CROPPY. 

out another word, therefore, the old woman got 
through all her silent process of unlocking, un- 
bolting, and unlatching the door ; and as EHza, 
now attired for her expected flight, fixedly and 
almost sternly watched Nanny's exit, she began 
to regard the creeping creature but as an ac- 
complice in the general plot so direfully per- 
fected for her ruin. 

With her throat parched and choking, but 
her impulse to scream aloud kept down ; with 
her person erect, and braced in desperation, 
while her clasped hands met beneath her bo- 
som ; and with her yet unmoistened eye fixed 
upon the half- open door — thus stood Eliza at 
Nanny's return from reconnoitering the state 
of the garrison. The deep, stilly expression of 
her otherwise inexpressible woe — the stony 
composure of her features and lofty figure, in 
the silence and dim light of the spacious cham- 
ber — caused Nanny to start back, as soon as 
her grotesque person slid over the threshold. 
But, recovering herself, she gave a sign that 
circumstances seemed to favour their intended 
escape ; and in a few minutes, partly owing to 
Mrs. Nelly's " cure for the wather- flash," 
partly to her keys, which Nanny '^ jest bor- 
ried" from the nail on which they hung, Eliza 



THE CROPPY. 199 

occupied a pillion behind Kitty Gow, who, 
with her right knee over the pummel of a 
man's saddle, and her left foot not in a lady's 
stirrup, a whip in her hand, and a little bonnet 
tied down close to her ears, sat prepared to 
conduct Eliza from her abhorred prison. And 
thus humbly mounted, and with a girl as young 
as herself, and, at least in happier days, not 
unlike herself in character, to act as her esquire, 
did the heiress of Hartley Court prepare to fly 
the dangers that threatened her. 

^^ It's to Ross town you're for goin', Lady 
Eleezabeth, my darlin' pet," said Nanny, as she 
stood a moment at Kitty Gow's stirrup — " only 
six or seven miles, or thereaway, from us, an' 
where the little daughther o' me will do her best, 
as in duty bound, her an' hers, for ever, bless 
all good benny facthers, to keep you out o' 
harum's way — an' the road afore you is clane 
an' clear iv them foolish, wicked Croppies that 's 
behavin' themselves so bad elsewhere— an' Kitty 
Gow, my honey, jest tell Nance that, by the 
same token an ould woman was wid her last 
Christmas-day — an' she'll know what ould wo- 
man you mane — an' gave her, unknownst to 
a livin' sowl bud their own two sefs, four hun- 
dhred in oaten male for* the child's Christmas- 



^00 THE CROPPY. 

box ; an' I '11 be wid ye mysef, Lady Eleeza- 
beth, my honey jewel, to-morrow arly, plase 
God I live so long, an' gets safe an' sound out 
o"* the one house wid Misthress Nelly ; — an' 
lookee, Kitty, my pet," sinking her voice, so 
that Kitty only might hear her, " you have 
your own throubles to make you sorrowful, an' 
to keep the smiles from your two purty cheeks, 
an' to make the pleasant voice o' you be more 
dushmal nor it's used to be — bud, Kitty, my 
honey, Lady Eleezabeth's throubles is greater 
than yours by far, an' if you'd thry to rise her 
heart wid some merry stories on the road, an' 
maybe a merry laugh, an' the light heart, an' 
the quick thought an' word, at whatever may 
come across ye — God purtect the both ! an' I 
don't mane that there's any danger — why, then, 
Kitty, my graw, you'd only be doin' what 'ud 
be the kind thing, an' the dutiful thing, in re- 
gard to one o' the ladies o' the land that the 
likes iv us has no right to compare oursefs to, 
or to laugh when they laugh, or to cry when 
they cry, or to think in our throubles when 
they're in their own throubles — to say nothin' 
o' what you 're beholdin' for to her an' hers, or 
nothin' iv the boy that you wish well, that et 
his bread, an' dhrank his sup undher their roof, 



THE CROPPY. 201 

an' that you know I always had a good notion 
of, for your sake." 

In the same low tone in which she was thus 
admonished, Kitty assured her counsellor that 
her own love and pity towards our heroine did 
not require to be excited into the disposition 
necessary for the sacrifice of her personal sor- 
rows upon this extraordinary occasion ; and 
that, in every respect, she would exert her 
spirits to — as Nanny expressed it — " rise Lady 
Eleezabeth's heart." 

Adieus were interchanged ; Kitty whipped 
her indifferent steed ; and almost at the first 
step of their journey, she found herself appeal- 
ed to for the observance of her promise to the 
Knitter. Hitherto, Eliza had kept the rigid 
stillness of manner, and the deep silence, in 
which she quitted Talbot's house. The motion 
of the horse acted as a keen remembrancer to 
her heart. She turned her head, and glanced 
at the hated house from which she was about to 
fly ; her desolate situation appeared to her in a 
new, an afflicting, a tear-starting light ; the 
thought of her father's death began to put in 
play all the sources of natural grief ; she again 
turned her head, and looked upon her humble 
and feeble, and yet her only protector, — and at 
K 5 



202 THE CHOPPY. 

last came the bursting shower, as, passing her 
arm tightly round Kitty Gow, she allowed her 
head to droop on her guide's shoulders, sobbing 
out, "Poor girl, poor girl!" — for by quick 
apprehension, she brought to mind Kitty's late 
misfortunes, not unlike her own ; and sympathy 
for the humble maiden's similar state of imbe- 
friended misery, mingled with and made a part 
of Eliza's individual suffering. 

Nanny had warranted that their road should 
prove free of the dangerous commotions which 
elsewhere must be encountered. But the result 
shows that however skilled she might be in other 
matters, she knew little of military movements, 
though, perhaps, she is entitled to an apology 
on this occasion, inasmuch as since nearly the 
first outbreak of the insurrection until she set off 
to reconnoitre Talbot's house, she had been con- 
fined to her bed, and so separated from almost 
all communication with any of her fellow-crea- 
tures who could faithfully report public pro- 
ceedings. 

But in fact, upon this night nearly the 
whole of the county of Wexford was in the 
hands of the insurgents ; and already they con- 
templated a serious extension of their victories, 
by attacking the town of New Ross, the readiest 



THE CROPPY. 203 

passage into the county of Kilkenny, where they 
expected to be joined by new reinforcements. 
The defence of Ross, therefore, became an ob- 
ject of considerable importance, and all the mili- 
tary force that could be collected were sent 
thither in expectation of the threatened advance 
of the victors of Owlard hill, of Enniscorthy, of 
Wexford, and of other places ; so that Nanny 
could scarce have chosen a more insecure desti- 
nation for her protegee. 

Again, it is to be noticed, that if Eliza's mind 
had been disposed to receive impressions con- 
genial to its former tastes, she would have re- 
ceived much pleasure from the very beautiful 
night-scenes surrounding her during a part of 
her journey. At different parts of her route 
she might have caught glimpses of an expansive 
river, overhung with great masses of foliage, 
some blank and colourless, but boldly relieved 
against the clear sky, and others chequered by 
the young moon, which, since her flight from 
Enniscorthy, had been growing in the heavens : 
and as she approached the town, extension and 
variety of this class of scenery might have con- 
tinued to raise her admiration ; Nature, not im- 
mersed in impenetrable sleep beneath a ray- 
less night, but half hidden, half revealed, rather 



S04 THE CROPPY. 

enjoying a gentle slumber ; while the timid 
light of the serene concave was reflected in the 
broad and smooth river, and mingling heights, 
clothed in their graceful woods, sloped down to 
bound its waters, or, pausing at a distance, 
allowed the soft meadow to stretch to its 
margin. 

But EHza had little perception for outward 
objects or appearances ; or perhaps she attend- 
ed to some of a character different from such as 
have been glanced at, yet in unison with her 
mood, or appealing to her situation. When, as 
was often the case, the burning cabin or mansion 
sent its sudden red glare against the sky, turn- 
ing the moon's silver radiance into a sickly pale 
green, and tinging the summer hue of the woods 
as if with the soiled, rusted tints of latest autumn, 
Eliza's eye became momentarily interested ; 
and the wild and distant shouts that, accom- 
panying the occurrence, rang through some re- 
mote and unknown solitude, appealed still more 
directly to her terrors, her memory, and her 
mental associations. 

Kitty Gow, who quickly saw how much in 
error Nanny had been as to the safety of their 
route, exerted herself to curb the new agitation 
thus often created in Eliza, and which she felt 



THE CROPPY. 305 

manifested by a sudden start, an increased pres- 
sure of the young lady's arm round her waist, 
or a quick catching of breath, as if a scream was 
sought to be kept in. She augured good for- 
tune to their journey ; she promised happily for 
the future, and for Sir William Judkin ; she 
alluded resignedly to her own late sorrows, and 
gaily to the successes of Tim Reily, which had 
been spirited to her ears, and which promised 
to make him a Croppy captain, at least. Nay, 
she ventured to sing some of his songs, com- 
posed under her inspiration ; such as the " Pride 
o' the Slaney," which the reader may recollect, 
and some half-amorous, half-patriotic farewells 
dispatched to her since his inlistment under the 
Insurgent flag. And yet Kitty's heart was not 
quite so forgetful of her poor brother's death, 
of her mother's madness, and of her father's 
ruin and desperation ; nor, indeed, so much at 
ease concerning the safety of Eliza and herself 
upon their present journey. In case of the oc- 
currence of any thing dangerous, she depended, 
however, to no very modest extent, upon her 
own presence of mind, her adroitness, her " gift 
o' the tongue," and, be it added, her comeli- 
ness. But, notwithstanding her arrangements 
against ill-chance, the young fugitives approach- 



206 THE CROPPY. 

ed, without accident or question, very close to 
their destination. 

They were now within less than a quarter of 
a mile of the town of Ross. On the one hand a 
wooded hill, drooping its foliage over the road, 
darkened their way ; on the other a rich flat, 
thickly interspersed with trees, and beautified 
with streams of moonshine and mysterious 
depths of shadow, extended to the river, which 
also caught snatches of the last light upon its 
waters. There was no breeze ; not a leaf 
trembled. The air was soft and genial ; and 
but that the nightingale's song is never heard in 
the groves of Ireland, it were a sweet scene and 
hour for her melody. Instead, the little black- 
cap was chanting on a willow by the water's 
edge his comparatively imperfect, yet not dis- 
agreeable ditty ; and the land-rail was creaking 
through the silence of the dewy meadow. 

Eliza had sunk into a fit of wordless and all- 
engrossing sorrow, notwithstanding Kitty Gow's 
best efforts to cheer her, when, in the mMst of 
this tranquil and lovely scene, a peremptory 
voice gave the challenge, — ^' Who goes there i^" 

The w^ords sounded near to them, under the 
shadow of the overhanging trees. EHza clung 
closer to her guide ; and Kitty inwardly saying, 



THE CROPPY. 207 

" Now for it, if he's not too ould to be bothered 
wid a purty face, an' a glib tongue," reigned up 
her horse, and answered aloud, '* It 's a friend 
or two is here.'' 

'^ Advance, friends, and give the counter- 
sign," and a mounted dragoon came forward 
from the darkness and confronted them. 

'^ Take no notice of any rhamaush you '11 hear 
me say, my lady," whispered Kitty. 

" Aha ! a brace o' girls !" said the dragoon, 
^' where are ye goin', my lasses .^" 

" Why, Sir, we b'Heve this used to be the 
road to Ross town, an' we're goin' there," an- 
swered Kitty Delouchery, so disposing herself 
as to give him some idea of the really pretty 
face that seconded the merry voice in which she 
spoke. 

" An' what 's your business in Ross, my 
girl.?" 

'' Why, Sir, an' I'll tell you that too. We 're 
two protestan' girls, an' we live a' one side of 
Enniscorthy, about a mile or so ; — if you 're not 
too exact wid us, sure we '11 give you good 
measure; — an' these Croppies, they bunit the 
house while the father was out wid the yeomen, 
an' we had to run for id, an' he 's in Ross afore 
us, an' we're comin' to look for him." 



208 THE CROPPY. 

*' Well, that 's all to be seen. You are 
prisoners until you account for yourselves — 
come with me!" and he seized the bridle of 
Kitty's horse, and led his captives towards the 
town. 

" Who goes there ?" challenged another 
voice, after he had advanced some distance. 
The videttes soon recognised each other ; and 
the first dragoon delivered the prisoners to his 
comrade, with instructions to forward them to 
the guard-house. 

^^ Musha, an' l\n glad of it," reasoned Kitty 
— ^* he," — meaning her first object of attack, — 
'^ he was a good-for-nothin' ould throoper, but 
this crature looks like a body that 'ud take no- 
tice of a body." 

Eliza, although very unwilling to seem to 
countenance Kitty's false statements, as well be- 
cause they were such, as because she knew they 
must increase the present danger, if discovered, 
yet continued silent. Nanny had supplied her 
with a cloak, such as is worn by the lower 
class of females; Eliza had unconsciously adopt- 
ed the disguise ; she could not now consistently, 
or, still with a view to escape suspicion, show 
a character different from the station it implied ; 



THE CROPPY. 209 

and hence she was compelled to allow Kitty her 
own way. 

The rustic coquette rightly interpreted the 
temperament of their new detainer. 

'' I 'd bet a day's pay,"" said the man, as his 
more grave fellow-soldier withdrew, *' that the 
girls want sweethearts — eh ! my dears ?" 

" No, Sir, we thank you," answered Kitty ; 
'^ we'd have more nor enough o' them if we 
were at home, an' the wars over." 

*' But you '11 want one here, while the war 
lasts, you know." 

<< Why, then^ that same wouldn't be a bad 
plan, if a body could make off a boy one 'ud 
like." 

" What do you think of the boy before you ? 
won't he do?" 

" Faix ! an' that 'ud be buyin' a pig in a bag. 
Sir ; I can 't see the sort you are at-all-at-all : 
— but I'll tell you what — I'll show face for 
face wid you." 

" Done, by jingo !" answered the confident 
dragoon. 

*' Then here goes !' — she put her hand to 
untie her little bonnet, and then held it by the 
edge as she continued — ^' Mind the word o' 



210 THE CROPPY. 

command I '11 give you : — take your own hairy 
bonnet in your fist !'"* — the man laughingly 
obeyed: — " uncover heads!" and at the same 
moment both accordingly were uncovered, scru- 
tinizing each other; and, so far as the moon- 
light permitted a decision, the one showed a 
pretty, smiling face, and the other a fine, manly 
set of features. 

All this time Eliza continued to tremble with 
apprehensions of the result of Kitty's untrue 
account of them, and she also felt shocked at 
the girl's levity. And it was in vain that she 
pressed her guide's arm ; in vain that she whis- 
pered, " Forbear! forbear! at your peril!" 

" Are you done for yet ?" questioned Kitty 
of the dragoon, not noticing these hints and 
commands. 

" Almost," he answered, in the same banter- 
ing tone ; — " an' how are you off yourself?" 

" Purty well, I thank you ; only a little kilt 
wid the looks o* you, jest as you are wid the 
looks o' me; — we'd make a likely couple." 

" I 've no time to get married now, my lass ; 
an' there 's no parson at hand if I had ; an' I '11 
tell you more, my hansome pet — I wouldn't, if 
I had the time an' the parson at our elbow.'' 

'' Well, no matther; whisper ;" and she pulled 



THE CROPPY. 211 

his arm towards her, and he leaned his ear to 
her lips : — ^' the sisther behind me on the pil- 
lion is sick, poor sowl I an"* I can't stop to talk 
wid you now; bud bring us safe into the town, 
an' if I don't be stalin' out from her, never a 
hair on your cap, or more than that, in your 
whiskers ; — bother to you ! you spake to me in 
the night-time ; I was longin' to be whisperin' 
wid a sodier." 

" You're a darlin'!" answered the captivated 
dragoon ; — " a kiss on the head o' the bar- 
gain." 

" Wid a heart an' a half; — but mind my 
sisther !" and it was well for Kitty that Eliza's 
eyes were turned away ; and also well for her, 
and for her new admirer too, that Tim O'Reilly 
was not a witness to the sealing of the com- 
pact. 

'^ Where '11 I see you ?" continued Kitty. 

" Wherever you like." 

'^ Do you know the — let me think o' myself, 
for you're afther fluttherin' me a-bit — do you 
know the church in the town .?" 

'' Right well." 

*( Ay — bud that won't do, — the church-yard 
is nigh hand, an' I'mafeard o' sperits. D 'you 
know the Bungeen Lane ?" 



212 THE CROPPY. 

" Never fear but I do." 

" Ay, but that same isn't convanient ; — d' you 
know the cross, in the fair-green, in the Irish- 
town ?"" 

" As well as I know my horse." 

" Well, afther you get us into the town, 
come up to the cross, in an hour's time, an' 
you 'll see somebody stannin' behind it ; an' 
yourself and that same somebody 'ill be spak- 
in' together, maybe." 

Upon these terms, Kitty and the dragoon 
proceeded together. The walls of the town 
had been all demolished, either by time, or by 
the extension of its buildings ; but the gates 
were yet standing, or rather archways that 
gates once occupied ; and from the road along 
which our travellers approached, by one of 
these archways, called the Friar's-Gate, they 
were to enter New-Ross. As part of the pre- 
parations for the expected attack, the inlet had 
just been half built up, and farther secured 
with W'Ooden barricadoes, evidently of hasty 
erection. 

When very near this entrance, a smooth, 
obliging voice, not unfamiliar to Eliza's ear, 
was heard to give a preparatory " hem !" as if 
to clear the passage for speaking, and then, in 



THE CROPPV!'. 213 

the most good-natured accents in which the 
words could be pronounced, it demanded, 
" Pray, who goes there ?" 
" Friends," answered the dragoon. 
" I 'm sure you are," rejoined the obliging 
voice ; " I am, upon my credit ; but you must 
say ' General Johnson' to me, before I can let 
you pass — unless you like to pass without my 
lave,"*' he added, very resignedly. 

'^ Curse you ! a purty sentinel you are, with 
all my hearf," laughed the horseman : *' but, 
harkee, — here are two girls that must go into 
the town, for I and they say ' General Johnson' 
for you." 

" General Johnson, an' long life to him !" 
echoed Kitty — " till to-morrow mornin', when 
the boys comes in ;" was her mental reser- 
vation. 

^' Very well, very well ; I'm happy to oblige 
you," resumed the civil sentinel. 

'^ Remember the cross, in Irishtow^n, in an 
hour," whispered Kitty's new conquest. 

'^ If I 'm not there," asseverated Kitty, 
heartily shaking the hand which had been 
ungloved for the purpose of duly presenting 
it, — " I '11 give you lave to cut the cross in 
two with your sword." 



214 THE CROPPY. 

Assured and fondly-confiding, the lover 
helped Kitty and " her sisther" to dismount ; 
then assisted them down and up a deep trench 
newly dug between them and the gate; and 
then, once more reminding Kitty of her en- 
gagement, took charge of her old horse- — ^in 
truth, scarce worth the care — and gallantly 
rode back to his post. 

Eliza had heard the last allusions " to the 
cross," and now shrunk from, as she considered 
her to be, the criminal Kitty Delouchery. 

^' You "*re angry wid me, ray lady/' said 
Kitty. " God knows, only for your sake, 
I wouldn't make free wid a sodier o' King 
George's ; — bud we 'd be in the guard-house 
now, only for id." 

" You jested, then ?" 

" Never fear, my lady : I 'm not a bould 
girl, though I used to be a sprightly one, an' a 
little in the fashion o' makia' fools o' the men 
whenever it sarved my turn, or come into my 
head." 

" Well, Kitty, I must overlook your depar- 
ture from the truth, so much less an error dian 
I supposed you guilty of, out of gratitude to 
your motive; though I believe no necessity 
warrants us to say the thing that is not, or to 



THE CROPPY. 215 

promise without intending to perform : and in- 
deed I wronged you by so quickly supposing 
you a wicked girl." 

*' Thry me, my lady, an' if you don't find 
Kitty Delouchery honest — why, then — " and 
Kitty's voice trembled — " why then tell her fa- 
ther of her, an' that 'ill be enough ; he'd kill 
her wid his own hand." 

" You may pass, my good girls, with the 
greatest pleasure," said the burly, waddHng sen- 
tinel, advancing politely, his cap almost resting 
on his nose, and both his arms hugging his 
musket, not affectionately, but in instinctive 
terror, lest (as a monster of its kindred once 
before did) it might get loose and play him 
some prank. 

" If I mistake not. Sir, I address Mr. Jen- 
nings, of Wexford," said Eliza. 

'' Upon my word and credit, Miss, and so you 
do ;" the turn of respect was unconsciously ren- 
dered to Eliza's superior accent. 

" Then, Sir, without hesitation, I claim the 
protection of your roof ; if, indeed, you have a 
home in Ross." 

" Why, upon my credit, my dear," altering 
his favourable impressions of Eliza, as he very 
oddly misconstrued her request : ''' upon my 



216 THE CROPPY. 

credit, my dear, I don't know how that will be : 
I 'm a quiet, regular man ; and though, as it 
happens, I have a house in Ross, at present I 
don't think it 's a place for young women : — 
my wife — '' 

*' I see you do not know me, Mr. Jennings, 
though I thought you would — but look again," 
throwing aside her cloak, " I am the daughter of 
Sir Thomas Hartley, who has been a friend of 
yours, when you lived in Wexford, and who 
had the pleasure of taking you home safe to 
your family, after your accident at the review." 

" Sir Thomas's daughther ?"" 

''' Yes, Sir ; at present friendless and unpro- 
tected, and compelled to fly from her enemies, 
and crave the charity of a roof to cover her.'' 

** Oh, poor young lady ! — oh, God pity you ! — 
oh, yes, I heard of it. — Oh, dear me! — oh, come, 
Miss Hartley, upon my word and credit, and 
I '11 see you to my house, sure enough; and my 
poor wife and little daughthers will be glad and 
proud to have you in it : they '11 never forget, 
no more than myself, that day, when Sir Tho- 
mas, and now I remember, yourself along with 
him, Miss, handed me out of his own carriage, 
at the very dour o' the shop. Come, Miss, 
come — "" he was preparing to bustle forward — 



THE CROPPY. 217 

*' but, upon my word and credit, they won't let 
me lave this till some one comes to stand in my 
place. Oh, Miss Hartley," and his voice sank 
to querulous complaint — " isn't it a miserable 
case for a quiet man like me, that has no more 
notion — no, I take ray God to witness —no more 
notion of doing any one any harm than the 
babby on its mother's breast, to be forced to be 
out of his comfortable bed at this time o'night ? 
marching about, and standing in the could 
night-air, in this way, and houlding a gun, that 
you know, from what you Ve seen, is often the 
death o"* people ?'"' 

" Indeed, Sir, I think they might substitute 
younger men.'' 

'^ An' them guns has a hathred to some peo- 
ple above others," said Kitty Delouchery, who 
had heard of Mr. Jennings's accident on the 
review-field. 

'^ Upon my word I believe you, young 
woman." 

After some farther discourse, Mr. Jennings 
invited Eliza and, as he understood Kitty to be, 
her servant, to wait by his side, upon his post, 
until he should be relieved, which he expected 
would very shortly occur. But Eliza was 
averse to the observation which this might oc- 

VOL. III. L 



818 THE CROPPY. 

casion, and also fearful, that by it strangers 
would become aware of her intention to accom- 
pany Mr. Jennings home ; a fact she wished to 
conceal, lest Talbot might profit by it. She 
demurred, therefore, to Mr. Jennings's offer, 
and arranged instead, that, until he should be 
free, she and Kitty would await him at the 
house of Nanny's daughter, whither Kitty un- 
dertook to conduct our heroine ; " the ways o' 
the place" being well known to the young 
coquette, as may be inferred from her dialogue 
wath the susceptible dragoon. 

Until really put to task, the inexperienced 
human mind can form no idea of its own powers 
of endurance. If, but a fortnight since, any 
one had prophesied to Eliza the accumulation 
of misery which she now experienced, she would 
have said that her death, or the deprivation of 
her senses, must have resulted from it. And, 
indeed, were she called upon only to bear, as 
she might, the anguish of her father's sudden 
and shameful death, and the fears of her hus- 
band's ruin along with it, it is probable that 
Eliza might have lay stunned under two such 
deadly blows : but the eager impulse to avoid 
a new evil, which, as a woman and a lady, her 
soul instinctively shrank from, supplied, by a 



THE CROPPY. 9X9 

last appeal to her energies, the capability to 
struggle against her less recent trials. 

Eliza's sense of her desolate and miserable 
situation, however, was not, amid all her pre- 
sent efforts to avoid a fell enemy, the less poig- 
nant or absorbing ; and as she and Kitty Gow, 
after much knocking at the door of a very 
humble house, at last sat down in the little 
huxter's shop, of which Nanny's daughter was 
proprietor, to await the charitable offices of 
Mr. Jennings, her reflections caused her to 
wring her hands in agony. 

Mr. Jennings had fled from Wexford, upon 
the day of its evacuation by the King'*s forces, 
to a brother in Ross, his wife and children ac- 
companying, and often supporting him, along 
the sultry and dusty road. Unluckily, he did 
not, upon his safe arrival in the town, lay aside 
his military jacket, (although he had promptly 
forsaken his musket,) and he was therefore in- 
cluded in the general muster set on foot to op- 
pose the continued successes of the insurgents. 
It will be believed, that he remonstrated against 
the evident injustice, as well as inhospitality, of 
thus binding him to the very stake which he 
had abandoned his own native place to avoid ; 
and indeed he would have bluntly refused again 
L 2 



THE CROPPY. 



to bear arms, if he did not fear immediate per- 
secution, and very probably death, as a sus- 
pected rebel, in consequence of his demur. 

Our young adventurers had not to wait long 
for his coming. " He was let home for a while 
to take a bit of supper, and God knows it was 
only his due, afther walking and walking about 
for three long hours, when he ought to be out 
of his first sleep." 

" I '11 carry the goon for you, Sir," offered 
Kitty. 

** Eh !" he cried, amazed at her hardihood, 
" won 't you be afraid of it, child ? It 's loaded, 
I protest." 

" Not a bit afeard. Sir ; often I shot a crow 
when he 'd be pickin*" the barley on us." 

" Why, then, upon my word, here it 's for 
you — but take care, child — the laste thing in 
the world would let it off. Oh, Lord ! turn the 
muzzle away, child !" as Kitty, shouldering her 
piece, slanted it towards him. 

Arrived at his own door, Mr. Jennings's timid 
double- knock, somewhat between the plebeian 
single blow, and the more elegant tantararara, 
caused a great fuss within. More than one pair 
of feet hurried doAvn-stairs ; " Make haste, 
Peggy V^ cried a shrill female voice ; then two 



THE CROPPY. 221 

persons were heard unlocking and unbolting 
the door ; '' Slip the boult, and I '11 turn the 
kay," was the agreement between the anxious 
little daughters ; and as the father entered, he 
was so embraced and caressed by them, and by 
his wife, who now had descended, that for some 
time his companions escaped notice. He kissed 
his lady and his children with grateful rapture 
that he beheld them again, and wiping his 
forehead of its honourable moisture, bustled 
into his sitting-room. Here he bethought 
of presenting Eliza, and stating her name and 
unhappy situation, she was welcomed with 
a respectful cordiality which soothed her sick 
heart. And then ensued the disarming of the 
soldier ; his cap was laid aside ; his grievous 
belts and gaiters unbuckled and unbuttoned ; 
and, at his particular request, in order that none 
of his family might run the hazard, Kitty 
placed his musket in a far corner. 

A homely supper now appeared, and pressing 
Eliza to join him, he engaged it heartily. By 
the time he had satisfied his appetite, his wife 
handed him a tumbler of whiskey-punch, of 
which she had previously, and more than once, 
tasted a little in the spoon, adding at each trial, 
sugar, or water, or spirits, or lemon, until she 



222 THE CROPPY. 

quite assured herself that it was exactly of the 
flavour which, by long experience, she knew 
would suit her husband's palate ; and while he 
sipped it, he told of his patrolling through the 
streets, and of his standing sentinel to keep 
people from coming into the town, unless they 
said " General Johnson for him," and sincerely 
were his warlike labours commiserated by the 
listeners. 

During this, Eliza was permitted, almost 
uninterruptedly, to pursue her own thoughts; 
for though her present protectors could do a 
kind action, they knew not how, particularly if 
appealed to by their own concerns at the same 
time, to do it gracefully or very considerately. 
Kitty Gow had retired to the kitchen. Sud- 
denly a thundering peal rang at the hall-door. 
All started in terror. Mr. Jennings was pe- 
remptorily summoned forth to attend a full 
muster of his corps : by accounts just received, 
the entry of the rebels was instantly expected. 
A scene ensued of bustle, weeping, and la- 
menting. The poor man himself seemed over- 
whelmed. Standing in the middle of the floor, 
" Oh !'' he cried, the tears glazing his eyes, 
^^am't I an unfortunate crature, this night to 
be called to do, at my time o' life, what I never 



THE CROPPY. 223 

thought I was bom to do? Oh !" he gave a 
lengthened groan, as one of his weeping daugh- 
ters hung his Httle pouch across his protruding 
body — " too tight, Peggy, my love. Anty," to 
the other who knelt to button his gaiters — " God 
bless you, Anty ! — if I'm never to see you again, 
Biddy," cautiously accepting his musket from 
his wife, — '' Biddy, you '11 take care of 'era if — " 
his feelings abruptly hurried him out of the 
room ; but he stopped and hesitated at the hall- 
door, and stopt and hesitated again ; framing 
many excuses to himself for a little respite of 
time ; such as, " he forgot his snuff-box," or 
*' he wanted to look at the flint of his fire-lock," 
or, '' he'd just wait while Anty ran up for his 
nightcap, and thrust it into his pocket ;" — but 
at length he set forth, his wife and children 
hanging out of the windows to keep him in 
view as long as he was spared to their sight, 
and then they sank on chairs, brooding over the 
soldier's danger. 

Sounds of alarm and battle through the town 
were anxiously listened for, as the signals of his 
immediate peril. But none such arose. In 
fact, the intelligence announced by Mr. Jen- 
nings's summoners proved a false alarm ; and 
at an advanced hour of the morning he was re- 



224 THE CROPPY. 

turned safe and sound to his family. " He 's 
coming, mother !" shouted the daughters, who 
had been watching him from a garret-window : 
and, " Aha, Peggy !" he replied, shouting up to 
his children from a distance, in a gay and 
triumphant tone — " they were afraid of us, the 
rascals !" 

Hitherto, Eliza had been neglected. In the 
relief afforded by Mr. Jennings's return, she 
found herself kindly and officiously attended to. 
Her wishes were consulted. She was served 
with tea, that modern and most grateful bever- 
age to the weary, and then ushered to a bed- 
chamber ; where for some time we must leave 
her, enjoying repose, we hope, while we turn to 
other matters which nearly concern her. 



THE CROPPY. 225 



CHAPTER VIII. 

The little town of Ross is pleasantly, and, 
for all the purposes of trade and commerce, if 
either would but come to it, advantageously 
situated. In fortunate England, it would long 
ago have been a flourishing and wealthy place ; 
in neglected Ireland, thirty years ago it was, 
and at the present day it is, — and only give 
some theorists their way, and at the day of 
judgment it will still be — a few streets, half 
alive, with creeping attempts at petty traffic, 
and encumbered with a suburb of ruinous 
hovels, which poverty and wretchedness have 
marked for their own. 

About a mile above it, two considerable 
rivers mingle their waters, and flowing beneath 
wooded height, or by verdant meadow, form 
the fine river of Ross, a quarter of a mile broad, 
almost of equal depth from bank to bank, and 
l5 



226 THE CROPPY. 

allowing, close to the quays of the town, safe 
anchorage for vessels of several hundred of tons 
burden. 

Upon every side, hills rise precipitously 
above the more important streets, such as they 
are, the suburb climbing with them, often 
against acclivities so sudden as to render the 
ascent of the pedestrian a work of much labour. 
From the opposite bank of the river, when the 
distance is sufficient to obscure the frequent 
features of want and ruin in the poorer dwell- 
ings, and whence are prominently visible some 
better structures, the church, and a mass of 
monastic ruins, mingling with and ennobling the 
cabins on the hill-side, all relieved by height 
and slope, meadow and plantation, and having 
for foreground below, the quay, and a few 
taper-masted vessels at its side, — a whole pic- 
ture is presented, which the lovers of landscape 
would pronounce to be as peculiar as it is 
pleasing. 

Although styled New Ross, the little town 
claims to be of great antiquity. Four centuries 
since, it supported more than one monastery ; 
upon the ruins of one of which the Protestant 
church, at present standing on the hill-side, 
has been erected. Beneath crumbling aisles. 



THE CROPPY. 227 

whence, in other days, floated the evening 
chant across the broad water, may yet be vi- 
sited, close to this new place of worship, vaults, 
wherein lie scattered the blackened bones of the 
once powerful or revered ministers of an older 
ritual, whose knowledge, and often whose hands, 
reared the lofty structure which, destroyed by 
puritanical hatred more than by the gradual 
touch of time, now refuses a decent grave to 
the relics of its ancient masters. And stories 
are related by local antiquaries of passages 
under the river to the monastery of Rossbercon, 
that crowns an opposite hill, and where the 
paltry steeple of a Roman Catholic chapel 
bears, to the pile that heretofore occupied its 
site, even a more humbling comparison in the 
minds of its visitors, than does the confronting 
church of the Establishment to the massive ruins 
with which it so badly groups. 

Since 1641, when a battle of some moment 
was fought near to Ross — and when Cromwell, 
covering Ireland with desolation and carnage, 
anticipated time in destroying the pile we have 
alluded to — war had not visited the present 
scene of our tale. Partly, perhaps, on that ac- 
count the artificial defences of Ross had been 
suffered to decay ; or, as before supposed, may 



THE CHOPPY. 

have been thrown down to allow of the exten- 
sion of the streets. 

Mr. Jennings received Eliza at one of the 
still-enduring gateways of its old walls ; and 
three similar ones then existed at different 
points around the town. The complaisant sen- 
tinel was on post at the Friary-gate. Another 
on the hill above, and facing the north, gave 
entrance, through a thatched outlet, into the 
main street, which, winding down a long de- 
scent, led to the market-house, whence diverged 
the various other principal streets. 

The third gate, also standing on the summit 
of a hill, fronted the river. High above it, at 
right angles with the river, clambered, for half 
a mile's extent, the Irish-town, chiefly composed 
of the residences of the poorer classes ; and 
here fairs were hoi den ; and here stood the re- 
mains of the ancient stone-cross, assigned by 
Kitty Delouchery as the spot for her meeting 
with the credulous dragoon ; a meeting which, 
it is scarcely necessary to add, never took 
place. Whether or not the disappointed soldier 
adopted her alternative of " cutting it in two 
wid his soord," may however seem a question ; 
and it is answered in the negative, by stating 
that the cross can yet be viewed in an un- 



THE CROPPY. 2^ 

severed state ; but it is not as positively stated 
that he did not, in his rage and chagrin, at 
least make the attempt. 

From the last-mentioned gate, the third, 
the descent into the town was indeed preci- 
pitous; requiring, from an inexperienced and 
unexcited visitor, much cautious watchfulness 
of his feet. 

The fourth gate was situated in the hollow 
to the North, and only approachable down yet 
another hill. And rows of houses, running 
upon the sites of the old defences, or other con- 
siderable impediments, denied easy access to 
the town of Ross, except through these gates. 

The reader will soon see the necessity of this 
description in this place ; for amid a scene of 
quick and fiery action, we could scarce pause to 
supply it ; and yet, in order that he may fully 
understand that coming scene, it is proper to 
make him acquainted with the localities of its 
arena. 

Notwithstanding the good omens in which he 
had returned to his afflicted family, Mr. Jen- 
nings was soon obliged to resume his military 
duties, and starting from a sleep, in which he 
would willingly have continued till the wars 
were over, hastened forth in his pinching uni- 



230 THE CROPPY. 

form, and shouldering his dreaded weapon, to 
join, amid real bustle, his watchful corps. 

Horse, foot, and artillery came clattering and 
thundering into the town ; and then, with all 
the importance of men chosen as its defenders, 
the formidable strangers went from house to 
house in search of the best quarters, ridicuhng 
those who could not protect themselves, and 
bullying or threatening such as were suspected 
of disloyalty. In the course of the day they 
became variously occupied in defensive prepara- 
tions. Some deepened the trenches before the 
old gateways ; others grubbed the pavement of 
the streets ascending to them, in order to facih- 
tate the labour of dragging up cannon, destined 
to be mounted at those important points ; others 
strengthened the barriers : the companies not so 
employed underwent inspection by their officers ; 
ammunition was served out to all ; and, amid 
the general clang and uproar, often might be 
heard the cries of unhappy wretches suffering 
torture to compel confession of their presumed 
knowledge of the plans of the insurgents. 

As darkness came on, the sounds of prepara- 
tion increased and deepened, while they varied. 
Drums beat to arms ; the trumpets gave the 
note of equipment and muster ; with brows of 



THE CROPPY. 231 

resolute care, the commanders went from post 
to post ; and as each band prepared to stand to 
arms for the night, or hastened to an appointed 
position, levity was discarded from the soldier's 
carriage. 

Scouts brought certain intelligence of the ap- 
proach of the rude enemy, and before night 
had fully closed in, a moving black mass, com- 
posed of the body of the expected assailants, 
was seen, from the height called Three-bullet- 
gate, clustering round a country-seat which 
stood on an eminence about a mile distant. 
When they could no longer be observed amid 
the deepening darkness, their screams of defiance 
reached the town. And then from the point 
which had commanded a view of their uncouth 
muster, guns were discharged against their po- 
sition, with answer of readiness for encounter ; 
and igniting their rusty and badly mounted en- 
gines with matches of twisted straw, the insur- 
gents broke the gloom around their high en- 
campment with retorted roar and explosion, 
while again the great shout of twenty tliousand 
men told of anticipated triumph. The garrison 
they threatened was something more than fif- 
teen hundred strong. 

After this interchange of defiance, compara- 



232 THE CROPPY. 

tive silence ensued in the little town ; but still 
there was no relaxation from watchfulness 
amongst its defenders, and no repose amongst 
its startled inhabitants. Furious assault being 
every instant expected, the soldiers stood at 
their respective positions mute or whispering, 
or calculating each unusual noise that reached 
their ears. The people, to whom every thing 
around them was novel, and whose notions of 
hostile contention w^ere fearfully vague, expe- 
rienced torturing suspense. In obedience to the 
peremptory commands of their protectors, they 
had extinguished their lights, shut up their 
dwelhngs, and assumed the stillness of repose ; 
but, indeed, only assumed it ; for in every 
house the inmates crouched together, anticipat- 
ing the struggle that was to decide their fate; 
and often did they interpret the sentinels watch- 
word into the signal of attack, and start and 
tremble at the measured tread of the patroles. 

The night advanced. All remained watchful, 
anxious, yet undisturbed. And amid this deep 
pause, two females were cautiously approaching 
the insurgent position, having escaped, no one 
knows how, from the jealously-guarded town. 
By her curious hat, her low, burly figure, 
and her almost preternatural mode of stumping 



THE CROPPY. 233 

along without the least sound, we recognize one 
of them to be Nanny the Knitter ; and the free- 
moving, erect, and tripping girl at her side, is 
Kitty Delouchery, sent by our heroine, with 
Nanny as her companion and ally, and after 
profound consultations between them all the 
live-long day, to discover tidings of Sir William 
Judkin amongst the Wexford Army of Free- 
dom ; and, should he fortunately be discovered, 
to acquaint him with the present situation of 
his bride. 

About four miles distant from Ross is the hill 
of Carrickburne, one of those rocky elevations 
for which, as elsewhere mentioned, the County 
of Wexford is remarkable, and distinguished at a 
distance by the hard outline its curiously-curving 
brow describes against the horizon.* And on this 

* This hill is also noted as a horrid remembrancer 
of the times we would illustrate. Beneath its rugged 
sides, where a patch of soft verdure contrasts with the 
surrounding barrenness^ stood a large barn, used as a 
prison by the infuriated insurgents^ in which a number 
of human beings, of the two sexes, and of every age, 
were burnt alive. 'WTiether or not this abominable act 
is to be visited on the general body of the armed pea- 
sants, remains a question. Their historians or apolo- 
gists deny that it is so, and by their statements we 
are instructed to seek for the authors of the hideous 
occurrence amongst the cowardly who had fled from bat- 



THE CROPPY. 

eminence nearly the whole armed population of 
the county had lately assembled, and thence did 
twenty thousand of their body descend and take 
up, at Corbet-hill, — the name of the country- 
seat previously mentioned, — their position for 
the attack of Ross. 

The mansion so called was one of some con- 
sequence. A. lawn, bounded by a semicircular 
enclosure of trees, sloped to its rear ; and ano- 
ther, sheltered at either hand by shadowing 
screens of foliage, descended from the front- 
door. 

Within less than an hour of dawn, the time 
at which Nanny the Knitter and Kitty Gow 
visited this place of encampment, few of the 
rudely-equipped force remained waking. Still 
covered solely by the serene summer sky, they 
stretched in dark masses upon both lawns, to 
the front and to the rear of the house ; their 
sleep rendered intense by the fatigues of many 
days and nights, or else by the whiskey they 
had lately been quaffing, and which formed a 
considerable part of their commissariat stores ; 

tie, or the ferocious, who were maddened into revenge 
by burnings and torturings inflicted on themselves or 
upon their relatives, or committed a short distance from 
the site of the memorable barn. 



THE CROPPY. 235 

or some more cautious slumberers lay huddled 
together under the imaginary shelter of the 
branching trees, or in the ditch, beneath the 
inclosing fence. And female figures might be 
distinguished amid this stilly multitude of hu- 
man beings; and at their feet, or on their 
bosoms, children and infants ; for families fre- 
quently slept together in these primitive en- 
campments; and, perhaps, before the armed 
brother, or husband, or son, disposed himself 
for repose by their side, he first bent his steps 
to pull them a couch of green hay from the 
trodden meadow. 

The greater number of the men had sank 
down, clasping their unburn] shed guns, or their 
pikes, closely in their arms, as if the business to 
be encountered at morning's dawn had formed 
their last waking thoughts. But many wea- 
pons, dropped from less careful hands, strewed 
the grass ; and others stood upright in the 
sod, having been stuck into it ere their owners 
lay down to sleep. Ill-fashioned flags, with 
rude devices, generally green, but often of 
every other colour, save that of the detested 
orange, drooped in the breezeless night upon 
poles fixed in the earth ; and these were intend- 
ed as rallying points for distinct throngs at the 



S36 THE CROFPY. 

morning's muster. In the middle of the front 
lawn appeared five or six ill-matched cannon, 
two of which were tied with ropes to those small 
rustic cars, peculiar, we believe, to Ireland. 

The principal leaders had taken up their 
quarters in Corbet-Hill House ; and the scene 
described would have been one of almost breath- 
less silence, but that some of their number, the 
commander-in-chief, as he was called, at their 
head, yet prolonged, amid disjointed argu- 
ments upon the issue of the coming day, voci- 
feration or wild shouts of ebriety, which echo- 
ing over the lawns, were the only sounds suc- 
ceeding to the late cries and clamour of twenty 
thousand tongues. Nor, indeed, did these few 
signals of waking, where so many slumbered, 
take away from the deep effect of general re- 
pose, nor derive, from the close presence of the 
stilled host, any thing to disturb the idea that 
they bespoke a scene of worse than solitary 
enjoyment. 

As yet unobserved and unquestioned, Nanny 
and Kitt}^ cautiously approached the avenue 
that led to the house. 

"An' there's no doubt, Nanny, but v/e '11 
find him here ?" asked Kitty, in a whisper. 

" He 's here, I'm tould, of a sart'nty, Kitty, 



THE CROPPY. 237 

my honey pet ; an' the more 's the pity ; — what 
'ill become iv him when the wars is over, I 
wondher ?" 

" Sure the Croppies '11 gain the day, 
Nanny." 

" Ntchee, Ntchee : God help your young 
head, Kitty, my pet ! no, nor the night, nei- 
ther. King George '11 have the upper hand, 
in the long run, as sure as I 'm a lump iv a 
sinner." 

" Stop, your sowl — listen to that — maybe 
there's not friends near us," said Kitty; and 
both listened to the burden of a song, chant- 
ed in loud though not unpleasing tones, some 
short distance in the direction they were tak- 
ing. After the burden the whole song was 
gone through, and is here presented, as a ge- 
nuine specimen of the ballad-making talent of 
many of the insurgents. 

On Owlard-hill the war it begun, 

An' its there we gained the North-Cork man's gun ; 

To take Enniscorthy then was our intent. 

An' we 're the boys that '11 pay no rent. 

Sing the-too-rol-lol, fol-the-too-rol-lee, 

Fol, lol, lol, fol-the-too-rol-lee ! 

Long life to Father John, an' long may he reign, 
Capt'n Perry also, an' Edmun' Kane, 



238 THE CROPPY. 

It 's they will win both counthry an* toun, 
An' we '11 never give up till we pull the Orange down. 
Sing, &c. 

Come hither, my boys, that never war afraid. 
To walk all night wid your green cockade, 
Showldher afther me your pike an' gun. 
Every one like ould Grawna's son. 
Sing, &c. 

A loud and long '^ all's well V pealed from 
the singer's throat as he ended his ditty, and 
was taken up and repeated by many other 
voices, near and distant, around the encamp- 
ment; for, in imitation of the more regular 
force they opposed, the insurgents, catching 
the watch-word from the near videttes, pushed 
beyond the gates of Ross, thus endeavoured to 
manifest their important pretensions to the cha- 
racter of a regular army. 

With exulting alertness, Kitty Deiouchery 
tripped forward some paces, and clearing her 
pipe, chanted in her best key, and that was 
not a bad one, the following responses to the 
sentinePs song. 

Farewell, my tendher Kitty, it is my cruel fate. 

To desert my ruined dwelling, no longer can I wait ; 



THE CROPPY. 239 

The green flag it is fl}'ing, with its harp and shining 

shield. 
An' the Waxford boys, like lions bould^ are marching 
to the field.*; — 
How they shout out to rouse me ! and those words 

they say. 
Arise, my Waxford champions, and to victory take 
your way ! 

" Success to your pipe, you duck o' the 
world!'' cried the sentinel, running forward ; — 
" come here till I take you prisoner, you rogue, 
you." 

But in some misgiving, Kitty drew back into 
the shade, as she caught imperfectly a view of 
the figure that approached. The song, and the 
tone in which it had been executed, proclaimed 
Tim Reily ; but surely not so did the capari- 
son of the man she now beheld before her. 

" Where are you, my darlin' ?" he continued ; 
" by the pike in my hand, I '11 have you, sup- 
posin' I run fifty miles a-head ! — aha ! maybe 
you think I don't see you !" he cried, grasping 
Nanny the Knitter by the shoulder. 

" I 'm only a poor ould sinner, my honey," 
— began Nanny, in her usual formula of peti- 
tion ; the grasp was loosened. 



40 THE CROP PY. 

" Och ! tundher-an'-turf ! an' sure I made a 
mistake : an' it 's not nathVal to me to ketch 
hoult iv an ould woman, instid iv a young girl, 
either. Arrah, then, Nanny, wasn't Kitty De- 
louchery wid you ? — I 'd swear ten oaths 'twas 
she gave a purth o' the song I made for her." 

" Hi, hi !" giggled Kitty from her covert, 
now certain of her man, notwithstanding his 
very suspicious equipment. 

" An' maybe I don't know the manin' o' 
that," shouted Tim as he capered to seek her. 
There was an instant's shuffling under the deep 
shadow of the trees, which Nanny could not 
precisely make out ; but after, as she called it, 
some " hugger-mugger" discourse, she over- 
heard the following conversation. 

'* Ah, then, for goodness sake, Tim, what 
sort iv a dhress is that upon you ? I 'd lay a 
bet I seen the likes on some o' King George's 
sogers." 

" Faix, an' maybe you did ! an' it 's a sin an' 
a shame that the daylight isn't wid us, till 
you 'd see me proper : divil so purthy a hoos- 
sian ever your two eyes opened on, a canna." 

" A hoossian ! — English me that, Tim, an' 
I'll say thankee." 

'' Why, then, I '11 tell you, Kitty, my duck : 



THE CROPPY. 241 

them hoossians, they 're horse-throopers that 's 
come from far'n parts to fight the poor Crop- 
pies ; an' if you war to hear 'em spakin' ! — the 
likes o' their talk never came out iv a Christhen 
mouth afore : bud there 's one comfort ; it 
isn't Christhen mouths is on their ugly faces ; 
an' they have two whiskers o' beard over their 
lips ; an' they discoorse like born brothers wid 
their horses ; urragh, vul/uck, they say, an' 
then the horses makes answer afther the same 
fashion." 

" Sure you 're makin' fun, Tim." 
" In throth I'm not, Kitty, bud as downright 
arnest as ever I was in my life." 
" You might asy be that, Tim." 
" What matther, a-lanna, — we can't be merry 
in the grave ; so, we '11 laugh an' be fat here; 
on the face o' the livin' y earth. Bud, as I was 
sayin' to you, them hoossians are great bastes 
for purshuin' the poor counthry girls at every 
hand 's turn ; an' so, I was comin' along the 
road, wid the pike in my fist, an' I seen a 
hoossian ridin' agin me, an' I hid myself to 
let him pass by ; an' the thruth iv a nate 
purty crature, crossed ~ a stile, at the same 
time, an' he spurred his horse afther her, an' 
as they both war comin* near me, 1 stepped 

VOL. HI. M 



^4® THE CItOPPY. 

out, a bit, an* she ran to me, callin' me honest 
boy, an' axin me to save her; up comes the 
hoossian gallopin' : an' ' ullagh guUuch ghrow 
fraw thruff^ says he to myself; ' ulluch^ guU 
Inch, gruff, an' to the ould divil wid you !' 
says I ; an' at the word he reined back his 
horse, an' made him dance on his hindher legs, 
that he might have a good slash at me ; bud I 
was afore hand wid him : the pike slipt into the 
horse's heart, afther a manner it has ; ay, an' 
before he could say gulluch gruff to me again, 
it slipt through his own heart." 

" Stdut was your fist, Tim : an' so that's the 
way you got your quare clothes ?" 

" Faix, an' it is, Kitty ! I began to look at 
him, when I had the time for id ; an', says I to 
mysef, isn't this a green jacket an"* a green 
breeches on the baste iv a feUow? an' sure 
green is the poor Croppy's colour, an' maybe I 
won't put 'em on my own sef, jest to be like any 
soger ; so I was skinnin' him of the both, when 
up comes another Croppy, goin' for the camp, 
too ; an', ' I cry halves,' he says ; 'Bother !' says 
I, makin' answer the way he desarved ; ^ botlier, 
my boy, go an' kill a hoossian for yoursef."* 

* An expression really originating from the Insurrec- 
tion of 1798, and well-known all over Ireland, though 



THE CROPPY. 243 

Much more characteristic conversation ensu- 
ed between them, ere Tim at length thought of 
inquiring why his mistress was thus rambhng at 
night. But as soon as he ascertained the nature 
of her mission to " the camp/' he at once con- 
firmed Nanny's surmises that Sir Wilham was 
at present amongst the insurgent force on the 
height ; and only stipulating that so long as 
they remained unobserved, his protecting arm 
should encircle her waist — (Nanny was not, 
and indeed did not consider herself a critic from 
whom any such little freedom ought to be dis- 
guised,) — Tim then led Kitty in search of the 
Baronet ; the reflections that his young mistress 
was thereby to be served, adding energy to his 
zeal. 

While the great throng assembled for the 
assault of Ross lay sunk in deepest sleep, and 
while the most convivial of their captains pro- 
longed their midnight revelry, there was one 
who neither sought to sliare the oblivious slum- 
bers of the first, nor the care-drowning libations 
of the others. With arms folded hard across 
his body, he paced up and down before the 

for the first time traced to its real source; indeed, it has 
become a bye- word in the sister-island ; tantamount, to 
" win gold and wear it." 

M 2 



244 THE CROPPY. 

door of Corbet-hill House ; and sometimes he 
would pause, and seemingly after a moment's 
thought stamp violently with either foot, and 
again resume his hurried and irregular strides. 

" If I 'm not a blind man, Kitty, my duck ; 
an' sure, if I was, you wouldn't be dyin' in love 
wid me as you are ; there 's the gintleman you 
want,"" said Tim Reilly. 

" Faix, my honey, it 's him, sure enough ! 
make up to him, both o' ye, an' tell him your 
arrand ; becase I 'd rather o' the two not to go 
near him," remarked Nanny. 

" Why so, Nanny .?" asked Kitty. 
'^ He hasn't a likin' for me, I believe ; he 
was oncet goin' to toss my poor lump iv a body 
out iv a windee, an' that 'ud be the death o' me, 
there 's no doubt." 

Tim and Kitty approached Sir William. He 
seemed unconscious of their presence until Tim 
accosted him. 

" Here 's a purty little girl, your honour," 
holding Kitty by the arm. 

" What does she want, fellow ?" questioned 
the Baronet, stopping suddenly, and speaking so 
vehemently that both reeled backward. 

" She only wants to be spakin' vid your 
honour," resumed Tim, in a voice of humility. 



THE CROPPY. 24?5 

" Pitch her to the thousand furies !" cried 
Sir William ; '^ she and all of her sex — and, 
begone, scoundrel !" 

''Pitch her where?" muttered Tim, closing 
his fingers on his pike-handle ; " show me the 
man that '11 pitch her anywhere, half a quar- 
ter iv a yard, an' he won't be thankful for his 
throuble." 

"Never heed the poor young gintleman, 
Tim ; he 's cracked vid his thrials, an' doesn't 
know what he 's sayin','' whispered Kitty. 

" Threu for you, Kitty ; bud I forgot it 
when he talked o' doin' any thing to you.'"* 

" Tim is only comin' to tell your honour 
where to find the poor young misthress," re- 
sumed Kitty. 

" Hah !" Sir WilHam again stopped and ea- 
gerly fixed his eyes on them, — " where to find 
Lady Judkin, you mean ?''^ 

" Yes, Sir ; my lady is in an honest house in 
the town, there below, an' longin' in her heart 
to see your honour.'"' 

'' Lead me thither instantly !"• he spoke in 
high exultation, striking his hands together. 

The impossibility of getting into Ross unob- 
served now that the day had begun to break, 
was stated to him by Kitty and Tim, in a breath. 



S46 THE CROPPY. 

" But," continued Kitty," when the night comes 
again, I '11 lade your honour, by a way I know, 
to the very house, an' into the house, more be 
token." 

" Faith, we '11 all be in Ross town afore the 
next night, Kitty — or what did we come here 
for V said Tim. 

" True, my lad ! true ! ay — before the sun 
is two hours over the hills !" he rushed from 
them to the door of the house. " Come ! I'll live 
a day yet, and perhaps not in vain ! — enjoyment 
— triumph — revenge — then, death the next in- 
stant, and I can laugh in his face in my last 
gasp !" 

He broke into the house ; he announced the 
morning light to the scarce sober leaders ; he 
ran out from them, first to the front, and then 
to the back lawn, and shouted away the sleep 
from the yet slumbering multitude ; and with 
the earliest blush of a lovely morning, all was 
stir and bustle, where but a moment previously 
all had been forgetfulness and silence. 



y 



THE CROPPY. 247 



CHAPTER IX. 

The banners were quickly snatched up, and 
their bearers, waving them to and fro, loudly- 
repeated the names of the parishes to which 
each belonged, as the shortest method of muster- 
ing their followers ; and in broken groups the 
natives of different districts rushed to obey the 
summons. The principal leaders mounted their 
horses ; amongst them the dingy sables of four 
priests appearing oddly contrasted with their 
martial weapons. 

The person who had been appointed com- 
mander-in-chief, and who was a Protestant gen- 
tleman of considerable property in the country, 
and much deficient, by the way, in the men- 
tal endowments necessary for his new sta- 
tion, began, according to previous plans, to di- 
vide his forces for the attack, when Sir Wil- 
liam Judkin observed a horseman, bearing a 



248 THE CROPPY. 

white handkerchief on a pole, prepare to set out 
towards the town. He guessed his purpose. 

" You go with a flag of parley, Sir ?" 

" With a summons to surrender. Sir Wil- 
hara; which, if they Ve wise, they '11 listen to.*" 

" I am with you, if you do not object." 

'•• 'Tis a mission of some danger; but your 
company is welcome, since you offer.*" 

Sir Wilham thanked this person, who seemed 
a man somewhat above the middle rank. A 
green ribbon round his hat, and another cross- 
ing his shoulder, bespoke a leader of import- 
ance ; and a brace of pistols, and a sheathed 
sabre, most probably the spoils of conquest, 
were thrust into a strap that encircled his 
waist. 

At a brisk pace they advanced to the town. 
They were within a quarter of a mile of one 
of the gates, and could see the soldiers drawn 
out before the barriers, as they had been sta- 
tioned during the night, ready for encounter. 

" Halt, and give the counter-sign !" cried a 
sentinel in advance. 

" A flag to your general," answered the 
herald, waving his emblem of oflice. Almost 
before he heard the explosion that sent the 
bullet through his brain, he fell dead from his 



THE CROPPY. 249 

saddle. Sir William fired in return, missed his 
man, and then galloped back, while a volley 
from the line that covered the gate followed his 
retreat ; and as he rode up to Corbet-hill House, 
he could see that many balls which had missed 
and passed him, had made corses among the 
strao^o'lers at the bottom of the eminence. 

" Where 's my masther, Sir ?" cried a strip- 
ling of sixteen, catching at his bridle as he rode 
on : " where "*s Mr. Furlong, that went wid the 
flag?" 

" Shot, my man !" and Sir Wilham broke 
from him, but not before he lieard — 

*' Why, then, may the Orange conquer us ! 
bud I '11 have the best blood among 'em for 
my masther's ;" and the lad, peering at the flint 
of his pistol, mingled with the crowd. 

It had been loosely planned by the leaders, 
while inspired by the libations of the preceding 
night, that their force should be divided into 
three bodies, destined to assault Ross, simul- 
taneously, at three distinct points. But the 
attempt to carry this resolution into effect was 
attended with no little difficulty. They were, 
in truth, but the heads of a mob, yet unreduced 
to any thing like order, yet unconscious of good 
to be derived from previous arrangement, and 
M 5 



250 THE CROPPY. 

who could form no idea of attack, save that in- 
spired by wild impulse, and obeyed by one fu- 
rious rush upon their foes. When, therefore, 
the captains spoke of precaution, and of a plan, 
they were only understood to be actuated by 
doubts of success as to the issue of a bold onset; 
and a vague notion of danger, ah'eady appre- 
liended, began to pervade the assemblage. 

The leaders themselves, mostly pushed into re- 
putation and ascendancy by the personal prowess 
that urged them to head their followers through 
the thickest danger, and otherwise unfitted for 
command, proved as incompetent to execute 
their purpose, as did the rude force to under- 
stand it. A necessity for a divided yet regu- 
lar attack had been half-impressed on their 
minds, but they came to their preparatory task 
without reflection, and consequently could not 
apply themselves to arranging, in detail, the 
crude materials which were to be directed to 
their object. 

When Sir William Judkin approached the 
position he had just left, the attempted prepara- 
tions for the coming fight produced therefore 
such a scene of tumult, as already boded the 
impracticability of acting upon any cool plan. 
The commanders vociferated their orders often 



THE CROPPY. 251 

different to one and the same band ; or cursed, 
or imprecated, or used violence to enforce them ; 
the men as loudly exhorted each other, or re- 
jected the authority which enjoined movements 
they could not comprehend, or were afraid to 
obey. Mingling and hustling, and dividing, 
and mingUng again, the unmanageable mass 
wavered over the brow of the eminence ; while 
from the out-posts of their watchful enemies, 
well-directed volleys often brought down num- 
bers amongst them, increasing, doubtless, the 
general disinclination to onset. 

At this moment Sir William Judkin spurred 
into the middle of the concourse. 

" All accommodation is at an end !" he 
shouted. " Your flag has been insulted! — your 
messenger shot by my side ! down upon tliem, 
Wexford boys ! if only for revenge !" 

This appeal, seeming to advise the only mode 
o£ proceeding that could be relished, partially 
supplied the impulse that was wanted. The 
motive for immediate vengeance passed from 
tongue to tongue; a resolved and desperate 
shout followed ; as if by general assent, a great 
number flung aside their coats, shoes, and 
stockings ; and before the uncombined move- 
ment could be checked, seven thousand screaming 



252 THE CROPpy. 

men, those with fire-arms leading the van, while 
the black-headed pikes bristled high over the 
heads of their main body, were rushing down 
the hill upon Ross. 

Confusion and dismay ensued amongst the 
chief leaders, left behind, with nearly two-thirds 
of their whole force. All their plans were thus 
accidentally disarranged, and they stood power- 
less. The person called commander-in-chief 
exerted his voice to arrest the progress of the 
impetuous detachment ; but he was not heeded. 
Some of his inferior officers, seeing it useless to 
remonstrate any longer, hastened down from 
Corbet-hill, to place themselves at the head of 
those whom they could not control. Others, 
still hoping to connect with the sudden diversion, 
a simultaneous attack upon the town, at three 
points, laboured to divide and separately to 
direct the great body around them. But their 
agitation and unassured manner quickly com- 
municated itself to their foUow^ers ; their want 
of judicious method added to the impression ; 
and, at the ill-judged cry of " Down, Wexford 
men, or all is lost !*" they were left almost alone 
on the height, the distracted mob flying w^ith 
their backs to Ross : so that of twenty thou- 
sand, destined the previous evening to seize up- 



THE CROPPY. 



253 



on the town, little more than eight thousand en- 
gaged in the affair. 

And at the head of these eight thousand, 
driven onward by his seconders, rather than 
leading them, did Sir Wilham Judkin now 
spur his horse. 

The mad shouts of the assailants sank into 
silent purpose, as they drove through the way 
leading to the verge of the descent, at the bot- 
tom of which Ross was situated. The advanc- 
ed sentinels fled before them. They heard the 
gallop of horse coming on. They paused. 
Dragoons swept around a curve of the I'oad, 
charging at a gallop. With a renewed yell the 
insurgents rushed to meet them. Fire-arms 
were discharged on both sides ; numbers of the 
peasant force fell ; but they pressed over the 
bodies of their companions, now showing a front 
of pikes. Again the dragoons fired, and then 
wheeled round, and rapidly retreated. Their 
foes quickened their tramp to a race. 

The horsemen, in sweeping upon the town, 
dispirited, by their flight, the advanced body of 
infantry at the gate, who faced about, not wait- 
ing the assailants. Sir William Judkin saw 
his men come close upon the entrenched and 
barricaded entrance. Here, cannon opened 



254 THE CROPPY. 

upon them, each shot making a path through 
the thickly-wedged mass, and promising to 
protect the dragoons who, hard pressed by bare- 
footed foes, almost as fleet as the beasts they 
bestrode, and not able to cross the deep trench 
before them, wheeled to the right, down a 
narrow way, leading into the centre of the 
suburb before described as stretching from the 
fair gate up the heights over the town. 

" Surround them in the Boreen-na-Slau- 
nagh r shouted Sir William ; — and being an- 
swered by a fierce cry, he led part of his adhe- 
rents over a fence near at hand, and was fol- 
lowed at a speed that put his horse to his 
mettle. 

The result answered his expectations. He 
and his detachment were on the narrow road 
before the dragoons ; the remaining force pressed 
the horsemen in the rear. 

" Now, my boys, no quarter ! some of them 
are Talbofs hangmen !" 

His advice was scarcely necessary. The 
dragoons could but once draw their triggers, 
when, except two, who broke in desperation 
through the throng, and galloped, at peril of 
their necks, down almost a precipice into the 
town, they were piked to death in a few 



THE CROPPY. 255 

minutes. Even their horses, as if identified 
with themselves, shared the hate, the rage, and 
the deadly thrusts which so quickly dispatched 
the riders. And while still engaged in their 
work of slaughter, the exulting yells of the 
victors rang with ominous effect through the 
town below. 

"To the Three-bullet-gate, my gallant boys !" 
again cheered their young leader, and again an 
answering shout prefaced their return to that 
important point : and they bounded upward 
with unslackened speed. 

The cannon did not now roar at them, as a 
second time they thronged to its mouth. An 
officer, visibly of rank, — a commander of title, 
indeed, — appeared on horseback between them 
and the trench, waving his sword in token of 
parley. The insurgent body suddenly halted 
close to him. 

" What is it you seek, my lads V he began, 
and while he spoke, a bare-legged boy advanced 
closer than the others, as if stupidly attending 
to his address : " why do you thus foolishly 
oppose the King's forces ? state your demands 
to me, and if a compromise can be effected, we 
will avoid the shedding of blood — " 

Ere the last words were wafted from his lips, 



^6 THE CROPPy. 

the stripling's aspect changed into the fierce 
wildness of the tiger's, as, snatching a pistol 
from his bosom, he shot the noble mediator 
through the heart, who instantly tumbled into 
the trench. 

" Now, masther, there's a life for your life T' 
cried the young assassin, bounding high in 
ecstasy : " it wasn't to see you killed widout 
a life for id, that you brought me up undher 
your roof." 

The field-pieces on the trench flashed and 
bellowed ; the infantry drawn up behind it sent 
in their accompanying volleys; guns from the 
hill-side within the town supported both ; and 
numbers of the insurgent throngs paid forfeit 
for the much-regretted (and still-regretted) life 
thus treacherously taken. 

But the maddened assailants, mounting upon 
the heaps of slain which rapidly filled the 
trench, only redoubled their efforts to possess 
the gate. They were repulsed three times, 
steadily, and with great loss. A fourth -time 
had the gunners loaded to sweep back a fourth 
assault, and their matches were approaching the 
guns, when from a wall to the right of the 
gate, and to which the trench ran, jumped a 
band of almost naked men, who to gain this 



THE CROPPY. 257 

point had taken an unobserved circuit. Before 
they could be aware of their danger, the 
cannoneers lay stretched under their carriages ; 
and in another instant the guns were wheeled 
round and discharged upon their own infantry. 
At the same time, the main force of the insur- 
gents easily crossed the trench, over the dead 
bodies that filled it, and, pike in hand, fol- 
lowed up the unexpected salute by a charge. 
Their fury, their numbers, and their fearful 
weapon, could not be resisted ; and as the re- 
treating soldiers descended the steep street into 
the middle of the town, the cannon was once 
more discharged upon them. The screaming 
foe sprang down in pursuit, sometimes checked 
by a murderous volley sent up from the in- 
fantry, who would momentarily pause and face 
round to give it ; sometimes by the bayonet, 
which, with little chance of success, clashed 
against the pike. 

Besides those who entered by the gate, num- 
bers came pouring down the hilly suburb and 
streets that faced the river ; and whenever a 
musket flashed, they sprang to its muzzle, still 
shouting at death, and overwhelming opposi- 
tion. They gained the outskirts of the lower 
and principal part of the town, where stood the 



^58 THE CROPPY. 

market-house, a building with open arches 
below, and with public-rooms overhead, sur- 
mounted by a cupola. 

Here almost the whole remaining garrison 
had become concentrated ; and here was the 
sturdiest struggle. Even as the assailants rush- 
ed down the street which led to this little cita- 
del, volley after volley still thinned their ranks ; 
at a closer approach, cannon again blasted 
showers of shot upon them from beneath the 
arches, and from every window overhead the 
glittering tabes of infantry well seconded the 
larger engines ; while between each pause of 
the fire, horsemen charged against the rushing 
concourse. The contest gradually became as- 
tounding. In answer to the harsh and inces- 
sant explosions of musketry, and the bellowing 
of the guns, the insurgents sent back their 
hoarse yet tremendous shouts : over heaps and 
heaps of their own slain they continued to 
bound, always driving back the dragoons ; and 
to eke out the din and the fury of the scene, 
the crackling and roar of burning dwellings, 
and the shivering of windows by ball, or by the 
exploding air within, soon began to be heard, 
and the smoke of conflagration mingled with 
that of the hot engagement. 



THE CROPPiT. 259 

And amid this scene was the fate of Eliza 
Hartley to be decided. 

She stood in an open window of Mr. Jen- 
ning's house, near to the market-place, but 
out of range of the volleys thence sent forth, en- 
deavouring to catch, through the clamour of 
human voices which added to the general roar 
and clang, one accent of one voice that it would 
have been joy to hear, and to select from 
amongst the dense phalanx of insurgents, the 
figure of one individual for whose safety her 
prayers fervently petitioned Heaven. 

A horseman spurred his jaded horse up an 
unencumbered street towards her. 

'' It 's he, my lady !" shouted Kitty Delou- 
chery, who stood by her side ; and the girl 
quickly descended to admit Sir William Jud- 
kin, while Eliza extended her arms towards 
her husband. She saw him halt, look up, 
brush his bloody hand across his forehead and 
eyes, as if to clear his vision, look up again, 
and then he took off his hat, and waved it. 

"Hasten!" cried Eliza. "Beloved!" he 
shouted in reply, and spurred to the door. 

" Oh, hasten, hasten !" — repeated Eliza, as 
another horseman, whom previously her anxi- 
ous eye had caught, closed on Sir William, 



260 THE CilOPPY. 

darting the rowels into his steed until, at 
each spring forward, the animal's hoofs struck 
sparkles from the pavement. 

" Turn, rebel ! — turn from that house !" — 
exclaimed the pursuer, in the well-known tones 
of Talbot. His sabre was bared and raised, 
almost over his rival's head.*" 

" My husband ! spare my husband !" cried 
Eliza; but she was unheard amid the din 
around her, or, if heard, unheeded by the 
ears to which she addressed herself. Sir 
William wheeled about ; and, distinct from 
every other sound of strife, she caught his 
screaming accents. 

" By the heavens, this is sweet ! My love 
and my triumph together !" — 

Ehza leaned from the window, unconscious 
of danger, for she saw but two persons in dead- 
ly conflict, where thousands were striking for 
each other's heart's-blood. The arms were 
stretched forward, and, at first, her hands re- 
mained apart, but suddenly she struck them 
together, her fingers entwined, her white lips 
parted, her rounded eyes seemed as if they 
would fly to the objects that fascinated them, 
and her unequal breath, previously kept in, 



^ 



THE CROFPY. ^61 

escaped slowly, as if fearful to disturb her 
eatjer watchfulness. 

Sir William was armed with a rude weapon ; 
it had been a pike, but the handle had become 
shivered, leaving it no more than about four 
feet in length, of which the blade was nearly 
two. Holding this in his bridle-hand, he drew 
a pistol with his right, and fired. The ball 
whizzed harmlessly. He changed the fragment 
of a pike from one hand to the other, and rais- 
ing it high, spurred against his watchful oppo- 
nent. By adroitly wheeling round, Talbot 
scarce avoided the deadly thrust, while with 
the force of his onset. Sir William past him, 
losing his weapon. Then Eliza .saw her dread- 
ed enemy approach within a few feet of her 
defenceless husband, and deliberately aiming 
at his knee, indeed almost pressing the muz- 
zle of the pistol to the joint, pulled the trigger. 
The ball seemed to have maimed the horse 
as well as the rider, for both tumbled on the 
street, and became entangled, until the plung- 
ing animal rolled over Sir William, apparently 
crushing him to death. Then came a shout 
more deafening than any that had preceded it ; 
her failing eyes beheld a body of routed horse 
driven past the door of the house by a throng 



262 THE CROPPY. 

of half-naked men ; they galloped over the 
prostrate Sir William ; they made a momentary 
stand ; they discharged their carbines ; the in- 
surgents closed with them ; heaps of dead 
bodies, men and horses, arose above her hus- 
band and his steed ; the discomfited dragoons 
a^ain fled ; the charging pikemen yelled and 
raced after them ; Eliza gave a faint cry ; the 
rush, and the shout, and the explosion faded 
from her sense ; and she fell into Kitty Delou- 
chery's arms. 

The insurgents drove the main force of the 
garrison out of the town of Ross. Over the 
wooden-bridge that spans its broad river, horse, 
foot, and artillery rushed together, and ascend- 
ing the hill at the opposite side, were lost to 
view. The long, winding street leading from 
the gateway where the attack had begun, 
was strewed with slain, ten insurgents for one 
of the King''s troops, making up the number of 
the slaughtered. Upon the height, over the 
town, springs a little stream of limpid water, 
falling in transparent spouts, at different in- 
tervals, from basin to basin, until it reaches the 
lower streets ; and this constantly running 
streamlet was discoloured with blood. Yet 
were the insurgents victors ; or at least, it was 



THE CROPPY. 969 

only needful for them to act upon the advan- 
tages already gained, in order really to command 
that name. The handful of infantry, and the 
few cannon which yet remained, rather out of 
necessity than as opponents, in the market- 
house, presented an easy conquest. 

But the undisciplined and riotous mob, bel- 
lowing amid the carnage of their companions, 
broke into the houses, seized upon whatever li- 
quor they could find, and in the fever of in- 
toxication, forgot that they were yet exposed to 
a reverse of fortune. 

An inhabitant of the town followed the re- 
treating army, and informed its officers that 
their ferocious foes had already become changed 
into a powerless rabble. The officers returned 
to the height commanding the town to recon- 
noitre. They saw the flames of burning houses 
ascending at different points, but the flag of 
England yet fluttered over the barracks ; and 
instead of the ferocious shout of wild carnage, 
the less frequent scream of drunkenness arose 
from the principal streets. At intervals, too, 
the discharge of artillery and musketry from 
the market-house, directed against some faint 
and reeling attack, told that Ross might yet be 
recovered. 



264 THE CROPPY. 

The defeated force rallied. The militia regi- 
ment, whose Colonel had been killed by the re- 
vengeful stripling, thirsted for a renewed en- 
gagement ; their spirit became diffused through 
every bosom ; all descended towards the river ; 
and horses, men, and cannon once more thun- 
dered over the wooden-bridge. 

The conquerors were dispersed in all the con- 
fusion and riot of inebriety. As the drums 
beat, and the trumpets blew, and the rolling 
volleys again made havoc among them, some 
hastily snatched their arms ; but numbers, un- 
able to make the slightest opposition, fell easy 
and merited victims to the thrusting bayonet, 
the dragoon's sabre, or the trampling hoofs of his 
horse. Separate bands encountered detachments 
of the soldiers at every corner of the streets, 
and in every alley ; and amid sudden shouts, 
and rush, and encounter, the contention was as 
desultory as it was bloody. 

In a shoi't time, all of the insurgents who 
could wield a weapon, forced their way to the 
end of the street, down which they had driven 
their opponents in the morning. Two squares 
of the market-house commanded them in this si- 
tuation ; additional cannon rattled to its arches ; 
and from beneath the shivering building volleys 



THE CROPPY. ^65 

of grape-shot still made roads through their di- 
minished throngs, while upon all sides combined 
discharges of musketry told with almost equal 
effect. Wherever, in the pauses between the 
explosions, horsemen charged through the open- 
ings thus cleared in the insurgent mass, the 
despairing men still evinced, however danger- 
ous, courage, driving their assaulters pell-mell 
back upon the infantry and artillery, and fol- 
lowing, while they dealt death around, to the 
very mouths of the guns, whence they were 
blown piecemeal along the streets, until the heap- 
ed dead made farther approach to the market- 
house difficult. Those who bore fire-arms 
loaded and fired while they retained a charge of 
powder and ball, and then handing their pieces 
to their women, received pikes in return, and 
sought desperately to continue the contest. But 
unable to come to close quarters, and after 
having stood repeated discharges of cannon, and 
of every kind of lesser engine, they at length 
retreated up the ascending street, with a celerity 
too rapid for regular pursuit, leaving nearly a- 
third of their body dead behind them, and thus 
abandoning the conquest they had sacrificed so 
much to achieve. 

VOL. III. N 



^66 



THE CROPPY. 



CHAPTER X. 

Many were the scenes of terror in the streets 
of Ross after the departure of the furious foe ; 
but of all such, two principally concern the 
story. 

Upon the spot where Eliza had seen her hus- 
band fall, buried beneath his own plunging horse 
and a pile of slain, appeared a woman and a 
man, both busily employed in turning over the 
dead bodies. 

'' Here the young rascal lies !"" said the man, 
in a ruffianly tone ; " bud we must get him 
from undher the horse." 

" Is he dead ?" asked the woman solemnly. 

" The best o' the two is dead," she was an- 
swered ; " the good horse is kilt outright, bud 
there 's a gasp in him yet." 

" Whoever you are," Sir William Judkin 
feebly cried, " you torture me ; — hold ! hold !" 



THE CROPPY. 



267 



as they endeavoured to free him of the stiffened 
animal whose carcass lay across his thigh — " my 
arm is broken, and this limb is shattered." 

" Hah !" said the woman, as if communing 
with herself — " gay and sonorous accents (.f 
days gone by ; is it to this ye are changed ?*' 
then addressing Sir Wilham — " Do you kno\T 
me ?" she asked. 

" Touch me not, fiend !" he screamed 
aloud. 

" At last you are mine !" she resumed ; ''yes, 
mine ; in my power, at my mercy, to deal with 
you as I like : this is no place or time for our 
last converse, — but there is a silent and a fit 
spot where we shall speak together, where none 
shall break in upon our dialogue, where no 
sound shall interrupt our words, and yet where 
we shall come to a reckoning before meet wit- 
nesses. Raise him," she said, addressing Bill 
Nale ; "is your comrade at hand to assist you .^^ 

" No, by the living farmer ! God be wid 
you, poor Sam ! one o' the greatest mistakes 
o' this day, however it come to pass, was to let 
the hemp that was growin"* for you wait for a 
betther man, — ^bud no matther ; there 's one 'ill 
help me at the corner o' the next sthreet, instid 
N 2 



268 THE CROPPY. 

o' him ; one that, since he hard tell o' the thricks 
o' this youth, 'ud lend him any helpin' hand we 
may want/' 

" You mean John Delouchery ?" 
" Or a body very much like him." 
" Come then," and she assisted with her own 
hands in bearing the now insensible Sir William 
to the spot where Shawn-a-Gow waited for 
them ; and then all gained the height above the 
town with their nearly lifeless burden, entered 
the church-yard, and descended to the drip- 
ping vaults beneath the ruined monastery. 

" Lay him here," said the woman — " here, 
amid the reliques of the dead and gone, let him 
commune in solitude with these rattling bones ; 
at the proper time ye know whither he is to be 
conveyed ; meanwhile, I have something to do," 
and again she bent her steps towards the lower 
town. 

As she strode through the streets leading from 
Three-bullet-gate to the market-house, a num- 
ber of yeoman-cavalry were galloping down its 
steep descent, after a last discomfited charge 
upon the retreating insurgents. The men, 
many of them wounded, appeared in much dis- 
order, and their officers'* voices were heard high 
in reproach. The woman paused an instant, 



THE CROPPY. 269 

glanced observantly and eagerly from one to 
another of the officers, and then darted like an 
arrow through the horses, and seized Captain 
Talbot's bridle. 

" Will you save Eliza Hartley from destruc- 
tion ?'* she asked, looking up into his haggard 
face. 

" How ? where — what do you mean ?" 

" Look I" she answered, pointing to Mr. 
Jennings house, which was in flames ; *' they 
have left her in it alone — Shawn-a-Gow forced 
off his daughter from the door — all fled for 
safety, and she was forgotten : you must brave 
fire and smoke to save her — you may perish 
with her, but there is sl chance yet — a slight 
one — and you, and only you will take that 
chance for Eliza Hartley's sake!" 

*' Two of you follow me," said Talbot, 
speaking to the men by his side ; and he spur- 
red over the dead and wounded, staining the 
fetlocks of his horse with blood. The woman 
quickened her pace to keep him in view. 
Flames were bursting through the lower win- 
dows, and through the door of Mr. Jenning's 
house, throwing a glare even into the broad 
day ; the crackle of wood within told the 
farther progress of the fierce element, and 



270 THE CROPPY. 

smoke which rushed from the shivering windows 
of the first story, warned the spectators that 
through them also it would soon shoot forth. 

At the garret-window, built upon the unpa- 
rapeted roof, stood Eliza Hartley, indistinctly 
seen, even in her high situation, amid the curl- 
ing smoke. Her piercing shrieks sounded the 
agony of her despair ; the prospect of a shock- 
ing death, distinctly beheld in its terrible ad- 
vances, inspired even her wretched heart with 
the instinct for life. There was no time for 
deliberation. Talbot, aided by his daring com- 
panions, quickly disencumbered himself of his 
accoutrements, jacket and boots, and then stood 
upon his saddle, under one of the windows of 
the first story, endeavouring to balance his 
agitated limbs for a bound. The female held 
the bridle of his trembling steed, and covered 
his eyes with the adventurer's jacket, that he 
might not see the rushing flames which now 
almost enveloped him. After a few seconds, 
Talbot stood firmly on the animal's back, his 
eyes fixed on the window-stool. He couched 
himself, darted upward, grasped his object, 
stood upon it ; his scorched and terrified horse 
broke away, and galloped down the street. 
An instant he paused for breath, perhaps for 



THE CROPPY. 271 

resolution, as he looked into the room within ; 
then he dashed through the window, whic.i was 
sliut down, shattering its frame and remaining 
glass, disappeared, and, simultaneously, a red 
column burst out from the opening thus made. 
Thase below looked on in breathless silence. 
They were startled by a crash, evidently caused 
by the falling in of the floor of the apartment 
he had just entered. 

^' Lost together !'* exclaimed the woman who 
had urged him to this desperate attempt. The 
men of his corps, and a crowd of other persons, 
groaned an assent to her words. But looking 
up to the garret where Eliza had first appeared, 
as her renewed shrieks challenged their atten- 
tion, tliey saw his blackened figure supporting 
what seemed now to be the hfeless body of 
our heroine, for her head drooped over his 
slioulder, and her arms swung without voluntary 
action. He spoke, he roared, but little more 
than the movement of his lips and the working 
of his features could be caught amid the over- 
mastering roar of the flames. He waved his 
disengaged arm violently, but the yeomen did 
not understand his gestures. The female, how- 
ever, seemed to have done so, for she disap- 
peared from amongst them. 



272 THE CROFPy. 

Flashes began to quiver in the room at the 
backs of Talbot and Eliza, and accumulating 
volumes of smoke almost hid them from view. 
The men, in loud and afflicted accents, antici- 
pated every instant the falling in of the second 
and only remaining floor of the house. They 
shouted loud, but as much in despair as in 
applause, when they saw him, still clasping 
Eliza, issue from the window, and stand on the 
slates at its edge, while one hand clung to its 
pointed top. Some had run for a ladder, as the 
only means of rescue that occurred to them ; 
others screamed for those to return with it. 

Five minutes more, and they 're gone !" said 
one of the yeomen — " but look there — see the 
woman coming out through the skylight on the 
next roof ! an' she 's making way to them ! — 
that 's brave, that 's brave !" 

'* She's a fearless woman," said another — 
" I 'd face the Croppies' pikes once again, sooner 
than venture along them slates."" 

The roof of the adjoining house had not in- 
deed, any more than Mr. Jenning's, a protecting 
parapet ; yet along its smooth slope the female 
continued to direct her course. A rope, secured 
or held tight by some persons within the sky- 
light, was passed round her body, and she held 



THE CROPPY. 273 

in her hand some sharp-edged instrument, 
with which she broke away the slates to make 
resting-places for her feet previous to each step 
she took. 

She gained the spot where the swarth figure 
of Talbot yet remained, barely visible. The 
hushed spectators saw her admonish him by 
gestures to hold her skirts with the hand that 
clung to the last window-top of the nearly con- 
sumed house. Thick clouds of smoke wrapped 
both. When for an instant it was wafted aside, 
she and he appeared half-way across the ad- 
jacent roof, the woman leading, propped upon 
her sharp instrument, at every cautious and 
lengthened step ; Talbot, as she had exhorted 
him to do, guiding himself by touching her gar- 
ments, while the senseless Eliza still rested on 
his right shoulder; and it was evident that ju- 
dicious hands within gradually drew the rope 
tight, as the female, to whose body it attached, 
came near and nearer to them, so as to afford 
her additional support and confidence on her 
perilous return to the open skylight. 

Those below, silent and aghast, thrilled to see 

her and Talbot's progress over the shelving and 

slippery surface, from which one false step had 

hurled all to certain death. Their feelings un- 

N 5 



274} THE CROPPY. 

derwent strong excitement between joy at the 
escape from the flames, fear of the peril yet un- 
passed, and admiration of the courage and pre- 
sence of mind of Talbot and his ally. Some- 
times loose slates feel into the street, and they 
were ready to cry out in terror and lamenta- 
tion, but still the bold adventurers appeared 
safe, and still the crowd was silent. In a few 
seconds all suspense ended. The woman gained 
the opening in the roof, disappeared through it, 
reached out her arms to relieve Talbot of his 
burden, received the unconscious Ehza, and 
then Talbot plunged after both, and the breath- 
less pause below w^as broken by a heart-stirring 
cheer. 

They were shortly in the lower part of the 
house, which already had begun to catch fire. 

" You have shown yourself a brave and a 
bold man," said the woman, addressing her 
companion, while he staggered and stared around 
him, now but half conscious of what had oc- 
curred. 

" Heavenly Powers ! is she safe ? have we 
indeed snatched her from the dreadful flames ? 
-T-where are we ? — how came I here ? — is she 
saved ? — where is she ?" 

*' In your arms," said the female. 



THE CROPPY. ^iO 

With a faint cry of joy he bent his eyes on 
Eliza's pallid face. 

" Fear not," resumed his companion, as she 
saw him start, "'tis but a swoon." 

He dropped on his knees. '' Almighty Pro- 
vidence ! the thanks and the praise to Thee ! 
Thy hand alone could have guided us!" He 
drooped his head over his mistress's bosom, and 
wept aloud. 

When Ehza regained imperfect sense, she 
became half aware that she sat in a carriage 
supported by a woman, but b]? whom she did 
not raise her head nor open her lips to ask. 
The different horrors she had that day experi- 
enced, vaguely blended together in her mind, 
kept her stunned and silent. The vehicle pro- 
ceeded towards its destination, and she would 
not even inquire whither it bore her, for in 
truth she cared not whither. It reached, with- 
out her observation, the house, near to Dun- 
brody, from which, by Nanny's agency, sh-e had 
so lately escaped. She was helped out of it, 
and accompanied by her fellow-traveller, and 
guided by Mrs. Nelly, and bowed to by Robert 
as she went along, gained her former chamber, 
still unconscious of her situation. A bed ap- 
p eared before her and she s?ink on it. 



276 THE CROPPY. 

Mrs. Nelly's obsequious lamentations filled her 
ears, and gradually produced recollection. She 
raised herself, looked around, recognized the 
kneeling attendant, and in the person of the 
woman by her side, the bearer of the first letter 
from her father, and with a shriek she swooned 
again. 

After this, her mind had dim glimpses of 
alternate consciousness and insensibility ; and 
when at length, in consequence of generous 
restoratives, she could take a renewed and 
steady glance around, the shades of evening 
were in her chamber, and surrounded by them, 
where they deepened under a fold of the bed- 
furniture, sat the strange woman, silent and 
motionless, the hood of her dark cloak drawn 
over her features. Mrs. Nelly was no longer 
visible. 

" Impostor ! deceitful creature ! leave me !" 
were the first words which, in a return of sick- 
ening sensations, Eliza uttered. 

'' How am I an impostor r''^ asked the female 
in her former controlled voice. 

" How ! knew you not the pretended letter 
you brought me was a forgery .?" 

'' I knew, and I know, it was 7iot a forgery P"* 

"And knew you not that my father,— oh 



THE CROPPY. 277 

merciful Heaven! leave me, — I can speak no 
farther with you." 

" You must speak farther with me. I guess 
what you would utter. You would tell me, 
that upon the night of your escape from the 
inn, I conducted you to another impostor, and 
not to your father." 

Eliza, hiding her face, only groaned her 
answer. 

" And still you would err in telling me so. 
Upon that Httle bridge, your father indeed met 
you ; and here, in this house, this night, he will 
himself confirm my story V 

" Gracious God ! can I beHeve you ? why 
should you deceive me again ? What do you 
mean ? — my father alive, coming hither to-night ! 
how can that be ? oh, how, indeed !— cruel, 
torturing: woman ! is not the fact of his death 
well known to the world, since that very night.?'' 
*' Well, believed by the world; yet he lives. 
A friendly hand, allowing his enemies to deem 
him led to his fate, saved her father for Eliza 
Hartley." 

*' Ay ! so your letter said — but how saved 

him r 

" In order to be left uncontrolled arbiter of 
his life or death — indeed, almost to cause him- 



278 THE CROPPy. 

self to be appointed Sir Thomas''s executioner — 
that friend assumed the utmost appearance of 
party zeal and bigotry against your father, ex- 
cluded his witnesses, denied yourself access to 
his dungeon, was accordingly appointed super- 
intendent of the execution, and thus, with the 
assistance of one trusty follower, another con- 
demned rebel, in the depth of night, and while 
the guards stood at a distance, mounted tlie 
ladder of the gallows upon which your parent 
was doomed to suffer, and upon which, as you 
say, it is believed, he has suffered." 

At parts of this statement Eliza started re- 
peatedly ; and when it was ended — " What r 
she cried, in a tone of bitter mockery, " ex- 
cluded witnesses — denied me access ! who ? who 
did this ? who dare you assert did it ?"*' 

" Dare ? Use no such words to me. Henry 
Talbot was that friend." 

" Wretch ! false wretch !" laughed Eliza — 
" I guessed your hero. Ay, this is following 
up the insidious views of your forged letter, 
heaping lie upon lie !" 

" Peace !" in turn cried her companion, 
rising, and using a tone different from her for- 
mer subdued one, at which Eliza again started : 
" Peace, I say I and have a care how you insult 



THE CROPPY. 279 

me, Eliza Hartley : look better at me, first :" 
she dropped her cloak, and appeared in a gown 
of black silk, deeply edged and flounced with 
crape ; her face was emaciated and pale as 
death, and her black locks, uncurled, and in- 
deed wholly undressed, hung thickly by each 
cheek — '* Do you not remember me, Eliza ?'*' 
she continued, advancing to the bed, stooping 
over Eliza, till their eyes met, and now speak- 
ing in a cadence of heart-broken and despairing 
wretchedness. 

Eliza half-breathed the name of which the 
faded and altered features only doubtfully re- 
minded her. 

" Yes," said Belinda St. John, " you look 
upon all that suffering and passion have left of 
your schoolfellow. And may I not take this 
innocent hand, and while in my own name I re- 
assure you that your father lives, still hold it in 
friendship ? 'twould be a balm." 

Eliza, overpowered, as well by thick-coming 
convictions, as by the sight of the miserable 
being before her, answered by clasping both the 
hands of her former bosom-friend, and bursting 
into tears. 

" I am glad of that, Eliza ; I am glad to see 
you weep, it will do you good ; I wish I could 



^0 THE CROPPy. 

shed tears, too ; but they have not flowed since 
last I saw you. But no, I would not weep, if 
I could. It might soften my heart from its 
purpose. And I have that to do, and soon, 
which was never done with a weeping eye. The 
heart must be stern and stony, the eye must 
be dry and hot, else would the hand fail.*" 

** Belinda ! — oh, my poor Belinda !" — Eliza 
was again obliged to pause, giving way to a 
fresh burst : after some time she resumed, — 
" I cannot say, Belinda, whether your words 
surprise, or delight, or terrify me most ; yes, 
now I believe that my beloved father can again 
be clasped to my heart ; but — " and she stop- 
ped, shuddered, and spoke faintly — " but, if 
so, I must believe the whole of that terrible 
letter—^' 

" Yes; when I am here to vouch it also — 
did not your father promise you should receive 
a confirmation from my own lips ?" 

" Yes— no — he only said — " 

" That Judkin's victim would visit you ; 1 
am that most wretched, most wronged, and yet 
unavenged woman !" 

" And you and he had met before your com- 
ing to my father's house ?'' groaned Eliza, hid- 
ing her face. 



THE CROPFY. 281 

" Yes : it was of him I spoke to you in 
your father^s house. Yes; long before that 
we had met, although then he had not inflicted 
the last injury. And it was to place myself in 
his way I came to Hartley Court, and remain- 
ed in it, and, at the dead hour of night, often 
left it to wander about his mansion, hoping to 
meet him by chance ; for I feared that, hear- 
ing of my visit to you, he but feigned absence 
from home, and in this manner I expected to 
confront and confound him. But I truly as- 
certained that he was in Waterford, on busi- 
ness ; and upon the very night when I received 
my intelligence, thither I went, and — you have 
read your father's letter — we met at last. 

" Eliza, by the written communication solicit- 
ing advice upon the waving state of your heart, 
I at first learned the treachery of our common 
deceiver ; and I will own that, while brooding 
over it, without attempting to answer it, my 
blood boiled against you, and my passion urged 
some dreadful punishment for the siren who 
had robbed me of happiness — of hope. Yet do 
not now shrink from me. It was but the dark 
impulse of a moment, soon forgotten in recol- 
lections of your unconsciousness of injury, and 
of our early and sweet friendship — nay, in pity 



282 THE CROPPY. 

for you, left at the mercy of a man so merciless. 
And believe me, Eliza Hartley, that, through 
all I have since suffered and done, the sense of 
my own maddening injuries scarce weighed 
with me more than did an ardent desire for 
your preservation. Let that truth become 
fixed in your mind — in your heart. I strongly 
\vish you to feel convinced of the service I have 
rendered you. This is the last time we can 
ever converse together ; the hour is at hand 
which may end my life, while it rights my 
wrongs — I do not think I can outlive it — I do 
not think I ought; and I hope to part from 
5-0U as friends should part. For after all it is a 
wretclied, a desolate fate to plunge into the 
grave without one eye left behind to shed a 
tear upon its eternal cover. Tell me, therefore, 
in your gentle voice, and press my hand wliile 
you tell it, that when looking down upon my 
wreck 3^ou will compassionate, and feel grateful 
to, the hopeless Belinda St. John — to her, who 
in working out her own dread doom, saved her 
friend from despair and pollution."" 

Eliza, again deeply affected, replied to this 
appeal in such a manner as gave evident relief 
to the unhappy woman. " And oh ! Belinda," 
she continued — " why was I not made ac- 



THE CROPPY. 283 

quainted with the name of your undoer at the 
time, when, in consequence of such information, 
the greater portion of what we have both since 
suffered might have been prevented ?" 

" You mean, when I saw you at Hartley 
Court ? I will candidly answer your question. 
Fallacious hope and ray strong pride suggested 
that, although diverted from his former views by 
passing admiration of your sparkling charms, 
he might still be won back by endearment, or 
else by determined remonstrance, at least to do 
me the poor justice I claimed at his hands — in 
fact, to become my protector — my husband — 
the — the" — Belinda's voice sank into a grating 
hollo'.vness — " the legal father of my unborn in- 
fant. And calculating upon this result, I felt 
the necessity, for all our sakes, of avoiding to 
expose him, to humihate myself, and to sow dis- 
cord between Eliza Hartley and her earliest 
friend. For even you, Eliza, ought not to have 
been made capable of recognizing, in the hus- 
band of Belinda St. John, the man who, to your 
smiles, sacrificed — no matter for how short an 
interval of forge tfuln ess, her smiles and her sole 
earthly views of felicity ; or, supposing you put 
in possession of the fact, and supposing him re- 
turned to his feelings for me, it would thence- 



284 THE CROPPY. 

forward be impossible that you and I could 
ever meet, even as common acquaintances. No ; 
pride and prudence equally ensured my silence 
at the time you speak of; and 1 went to the 
utmost limit of the lengths I should have gone, 
in vaguely alluding to my recent disappoint- 
ments, and in repeatedly warning you to remain 
faithful to the first inclinations of your heart. 
And now, Eliza, I must in turn say, that if you 
had but profited by my warning, then indeed 
much had been spared to us both ; much to 
your father, and much to the most deserving 
person whom— before your meeting with the 
murderer of my mother and my baby — you in- 
directly led to reckon upon your favour, and 
with whom you, my friend, may yet be happy; 
while for me there is not a hope on earth but — 
first — quick and fierce revenge — and then the 
repose of the long sleep." 

In these last words there was much to startle 
Eliza from her hitherto single and entire reli- 
ance upon all Belinda's assertions. The notion 
of regarding Talbot in a favourable light had 
never possessed her, even while she irresistibly 
yielded full credit to her gloomy visitor, and 
although could she have paused to reason, con- 
clusions of his honesty and worthiness ought 



THE CROPPY. 285 

to have gone hand-in-hand with that trusting 
state of mind. Now it suddenly occurred as 
strange and questionable that Belinda should so 
positively become his advocate ; and the rapid 
doubt soon assumed a more distinct shape — 
" What! could he and Belinda be in league to- 
gether.'^ he, to secure his views on Eliza — she yet 
to secure the homage of Sir William Judkin ? — 
could the excited passions of both have led them 
to combine in a story of Sir William's baseness, 
which, if credited by her, might, assisted by 
those favourable representations of Talbot, en- 
sure their common hopes ?*" And again, while 
EHza struck her hands together at the return- 
ing prospect, again came the blessed thought 
that Sir William was guiltless of the hideous 
crimes charged upon him — guiltless of all but 
a transfer of his love from a woman whose ve- 
hement and wild character, when once known, 
it seemed but natural he should dislike. Her 
father's death, too ! Could Eliza credit the 
wild tale of its having been prevented ? And 
he came not ! — night deepened, and he came 
not. If free to visit her, as was pretended, 
would her anxious parent dally so long .'' Then 
what indeed was Sir William's present fate.'' 
here appeared a discrepancy in Belinda's aroused 



286 THE CEOPPy. 

feelings towards him, compared with some of 
her former assertions. 

'* You told me, Belinda," said Eliza, sud- 
denly looking up, and fixing her visitor's glance, 
— " you told me, upon the night I accom- 
panied you to meet my father, that you re- 
turned into Enniscorthy to free Sir William 
also from prison ?" 

" Yes ; and I did free him." 
" Why ? if your only present views towards 
him are those of vengeance, why need you — 
why should you have done so ? He was in 
the hands of those who, upon your evidence, 
well supported, would have punished him as he 
merited." 

" I know not what means your changed man- 
ner, Eliza ; but is it necessary that I should 
answer you ? — that I should repeat the nature 
of the oath I swore, anew, with my dying mo- 
ther, over the disfigured corse of my child ? 
Talbot thought as you think, and urged me to 
leave him to the laws of the land ; but while I 
seemed to comply, I snatched him from their 
probable sentence to dispose him for my own 
doom and punishment. At the moment of his 
deliverance, he again sought to become my 
murderer, and breaking from me, and from the 



THE cROPrr. 287 

lure which I hoped would keep him by my side, 
at least for a short distance, avoided the harids 
which lay in wait to compel him to my will." 

" Have you seen him since, Belinda ?*" 

"• I have, and at the moment he was about 
to perpetrate another murder, which you would 
have lived to weep for; and a second time I 
hoped to make him my manacled captive, and 
a second time he escaped me,"^ 

'•' Belinda, all this may be true ; — hear me ! 
nor be surprised at the first show of a vehe- 
mence akin to your own. You say that your 
friend has saved my father ; but if so, was it 
not from a fate which he first took the basest 
or the most unaccountable measures to ensure ? 
Had Talbot permitted the witnesses to appear 
upon my father's trial — " 

" The witnesses !" interrupted Belinda, scof- 
fingly ; " if upon that day an angel had come 
down to arraign the perjury brought against 
your father, his judges might have been moved; 
but no other testimony would have moved 
them, and this Talbot knew, as indeed any one 
of observation must have known ; so that while 
his refusal to admit Sir Thomas's servants 
had no influence upon the result of the trial, 
the ostentatious zeal in which he repulsed 



288 THE CROPPY. 

them had much influence in inducing the order 
which left the execution of his revered friend 
in his own hands." 

" He knew that Nale was a perjurer — knew 
it from the man himself — why not step forward 
and declare so ?" 

" Spare me, Eliza Hartley, spare an un- 
happy woman doomed to ignominy and wretch- 
edness in every connexion of life, yet I will still 
answer you. In not attempting this, Talbot 
was governed by more than one motive. When 
he learned, secretly as it had been arranged, 
that you were indeed to become the nominal 
wife of the blackest-hearted man that ever wore 
a beautiful form, your old friend could only 
meet the exigency, by acting on Nale's depo- 
sitions and Whaley's warrant ; afterwards, it 
appeared but a chance that his accusation of my 
miserable parent would be effective, and in 
that case, Talbot himself becoming an object of 
suspicion, your father was really lost to you ; 
and, Eliza, respect Talbot for an additional 
motive — do so, that is, if you have any feeling 
left for Belinda — he was willing to screen, at 
my kneeling request, the degraded being to 
whom I owe my accurst existence." 

Eliza, evincing the natural tenacity with 



THE CROPPY. 289 

which, while there is a doubt to substitute a 
reason, the heart will cling to its long indulged 
prepossessions in favour of an esteemed object, 
still remained wavering, and the black brow 
of Behnda St. John told that she read her 
thoughts in her manner. 

" Sir William yet lives ?" asked Eliza, spirit- 
edly and expressively. 

" He does — but neither for you nor for me." 

" Saved, then, from his perilous situation in 
the streets of Ross .^" 

" Ay, carefully saved." 

'* Thank God V Eliza briskly arose. 

" Hah ! and you indeed doubt the truth of 
anything I have told you ?" 

"I do!" answered Eliza, carried away by 
her sudden energy, never before assumed in 
Belinda's presence — *' I do ! — and nothing but 
his own admissions, or a repetition of your 
charges to his face, and his tacit acquiescence 
under them, shall make me discard my doubt.'' 

" Come, then !" cried Belinda, exhibiting to 
excess the impetuosity that in her father's 
house had terrified EHza, — " Come then, and 
you shall have the proof you demand. I did 
not intend to expose you to a scene that must 
harrow your weak nature, perhaps kill you — a 

VOL. III. o 



290 THE CROPPY. 

scene, that I alone, of all woman-kind, have 
nerve — because I have cause, to encounter. But 
I see that to vindicate myself, and ensure your 
future quiet — if, as I premised, you survive it — 
it is now necessary you should listen, ay, and 
look on. Follow me, — dare you follow ?''^ 

"" Whither would you lead me .?'** demanded 
Eliza, impressively but resolutely. 

'' Into the presence of William Judkin." 

" Swear to that !" 

" I swear it by Him who is to judge me for 
all I shall do, by all that has been done upon 
me !" 

" Lead the way, then !"*' and in something 
like her own frenzy of manner, Eliza trod in the 
quick steps of Belinda. 



THE CROPPY. 291 



CHAPTER XI. 

A PERSON startled out of sleep, will suddenly 
rush to grapple, as it were, with the uncompre- 
hended sound that has scared away his slum- 
bers, his limbs and body vehemently active, 
while his mind is yet incapable of watching 
their motions. There are perfectly waking 
moments, too, though not often encountered 
in life, when, urged by overpowering excite- 
ment, we yield to an undefined, wild impulse, 
as little understood and un weighed as that of 
the half-aroused sleeper, and hurry to grasp at 
some vague object, with all the ardour of un- 
reasoning desire. And under such an impetus, 
Ehza followed what, if she had reasoned, ought 
to have appeared to her, the very doubtful 
guidance of Belinda St. John. Prompt as was 
her action, she could not, indeed, have accounted 
o 2 



292 THE CROPPV. 

satisfactorily for it. Her continued doubts did 
not really arise from close consideration of the 
case before her ; — in fact, she wished to doubt, 
rather than doubted ; and perhaps, were her 
heart analyzed at the instant, a desperate reso- 
lution to attain the certainty which must go 
near to destroy her, and not a buoyant hope of 
any contrary demonstration, inspired her, as she 
hastened to see realised her conductor's promise 
of an immediate interview with Sir William 
Judkin. 

They descended to the hall. 

" This lady returns shortly,"*' said Belinda, 
in a commanding tone to Mistress Nelly and 
Robert, who, notwithstanding their continued 
civilities, seemed disposed to refuse egress : 
but to this brief explanation, if so it might be 
called, they only bowed and curtsied anew, 
and allowed both the ladies to pass out in- 
stantly. 

Eliza and Belinda gained the avenue, side by 
side, walking quickly over the dancing patches 
of white light which the moon shed through 
the interstices of the trees and of their foliage. 
They passed the outward gate, and Belinda 
seemed to pace towards the ruins of Dunbrody 
Abbey, which, on its gentle elevation, not far 



THE CROPPY. 293 

distant, was partly silvered by the unclouded 
luminary, partly wrapped in impenetrable 
shadow, while a vivid inversion of the whole 
effect appeared in the broad, smooth water 
beneath. 

Suddenly, a chilling fancy seized upon EHza. 
The mysterious view of the ruin, the scenery of 
its crumbled walls and nameless graves, became 
connected with Belinda's wild and dark charac- 
ter, and with the thought of probable injury 
intended to herself. She had before now sus- 
pected her wretched companion to be of un- 
sound mind; nay, allowing her claims to sanity, 
Ehza did not distinctly infer from their late 
conversation, that Behnda, all her uncurbed 
passions and vehemence brought into account, 
might mean her well ; and just in such a place, 
and at such an hour, either madness or ha- 
tred might easily and fitly indulge a fearful pa- 
roxysm. Arrested by these imaginations, she 
abruptly stood still. 

" Do you falter in your resolution ?'"* ques- 
tioned Belinda, at her side, after having for a 
mom.ent attentively regarded her. 

" Whither, indeed, would you guide me ?" 
Eliza betrayed the alarm she felt. 

'' To yonder ruins." 



294 THE CROPPT. 

" Why ? — Did you not say we were to meet 
Sir William Judkin r 

'' And there you are to meet him." 

" In that frightful place ?" 

** Yes — it is the fittest for the interview." 

" I will not go with you : I will rather re- 
turn to the house I have left, and under its 
roof await my doom as best I may." 

" It is not now a matter of choice with you, 
your accompanying me, or your turning back ; 
after what has occurred, your childish, petty 
terrors are not to be considered: you must 
come with me, Eliza." 

** Must ! My God ! for what purpose .?" 

" For your own — for the indulgence of a 
wish you have yourself expressed : — hasten, 
the time presses." 

" You would not force me, Belinda ?'' 

" I would not ; yet mustf if 'tis necessary : 
as I have said, I did not intend to expose you 
to the scene you are doomed to witness ; but 
you defied and dared me, and now I zmll com- 
pel you to observe it ; — nay, long, long ago, I 
cautioned you against all the consequences of 
your indulging a wayward fancy ; but you 
laughed at my counsel, and. braved them all, 



THE CROPPY. 295 

like a self-willed girl, — face one of them now 
like a woman." 

" Pity me, Belinda — allow me to return to 
the house !" 

" Pity ? — what is pity ? I, at least, never 
found out the quality in my kind, and there- 
fore could not acquire it for myself: at all 
events, 'tis a weakly feeling, unsuited to the 
necessities of this occasion. Come I we are to 
be avenged together ! you shall see, or partly 
see, the striking of the blow. I will seat you 
on a grave, and you and the viewless dead, 
if such there be, must answer to God and 
man that Belinda kept her oath ; onward and 
judge for yourself!" and she put her arm 
through Eliza's. 

" Help ! help !" screamed Eliza, breaking 
from her, and flying precipitately. But Be- 
linda pursued, and soon seized her hand. 

" Do not thwart me !'" she cried in a deep 
startling tone ; " hitherto, I have dealt mag- 
nanimously by you ; your insidious blandish- 
ments seduced from me, and made a villain 
of the man who was god-like when I first met 
him, and my worshipper, as I was his : to 
you I owe it that he, for whose lightest 
pleasure I would have poured out my heart's- 



296 THE CROPPY. 

blood, raised his hand against my life, and 
killed my baby, while it quickened beneath 
my bosom; — to you I owe it that, to-night, 
I am motherless, childless, friendless, house- 
less — my cheeks withered and hollow, and my 
heart a rock ; — to you I owe all this, and 
more than this ; and yet, to the present hour, 
I have respected our school-girl friendship ; 
to the present hour I have curbed the jealous 
rage that often boiled to strike you to my 
feet ; — with every cause that woman can have for 
detestation, I have shown myself your friend : 
but vex me no farther, I warn you ; in the 
present hour of trial, cross me not ; else I 
may forget our young and innocent days — 
forget that you are Eliza Hartley !" 

" If you mean me kindly," said Eliza, 
imploringly, " of what use can my presence 
be, in the coming depths of night, in yonder 
dreadful place?" 

" If I mean you kindly ? Do you still 
doubt me ? See— if I wished to do you evil, 
I could do it where we stand — see — I am pre- 
pared for all deadly purposes ;" the moon's 
beam glittered on a blade which she snatched 
from her bosom ; " but no,'^ she put it up, 
in a calmer mood, or at least while she spoke 



THE CROPPY. 29T' 

in a calmer accent; ''this steel is differ- 
ently destined — onward, therefore, and fear 
not." 

She now flung her bony arm, which des- 
peration seemed to have nerved to masculine 
strength, around Eliza^s shrinking form, and 
hurried her along. 

Eliza really feared to give farther oppo- 
sition; her guide had threatened her in not 
very doubtful words ; and so, shuddering and 
almost fainting, she allowed Belinda to direct, 
almost to originate her motion. The avenue 
of Talbot's house entered upon the high road, 
and along this they for some distance held 
their course. Then they came to a rude 
bridge constructed over one of those deep and 
abrupt hollows, locally called pils, up which, 
at high-water, the tide flows in-land, in a body 
so considerable as to float boats of burden, 
while at the sea's ebb, its loamy banks inclose 
but a shallow rill. They crossed the insecure 
bridge, and after some continued progress, 
gained the green ascent upon which stood the 
lonely and extensive ruins of Dunbrody. 

Since their last conversation, to this point, no 
word was spoken, and still both remained silent. 
Ehza observed that Belinda did not, as she had 
o 5 



298 THE CROPPY. 

expected she would have done, strike upward, 
so as directly to approach the decayed monas- 
tery, but obliquely and partially ascended the lit- 
tle elevation, keeping rather near to the water. 
After some rapid walking, she stopped suddenly, 
and gazed around her, muttering, " Not here ! 
'tis not quite the hour yet;" and again she 
strode forward. 

While they had stood still, Eliza sent around 
a look of timid inquiry. To her left, and higher 
up, were the masses of ruins ; a mitred square 
castle in their centre, white in the moonshine, 
which also streamed here and there beneath 
the pointed arches of the roofless aisles ; and 
the broad shade, that at a greater distance pre- 
sented only blanks of unbroken darkness, now 
allowed the eye to catch through it, indistinct, 
projecting forms, or blind recesses, or shapes 
still more vague, which sometimes seemed to 
move and wave beneath her unsteady glance, as 
if the spirits of the ancient masters of the pile 
were lurking within the shadowed fragments of 
its walls. But it was not in expectation of su- 
pernatural vifeitants that Eliza peered into the 
mysteries of the old building ; and of such as 
she did expect to see, none met her eye. 

She looked forth upon the propsect to her 



THE CROPPY. 299 

right-hand. The moon was reflected in the 
still sheet of water beneath the height, and gen- 
tle swells, silvered and sparkling, came at inter- 
vals to break, scarce with a sound, at its feet. 
At one bank, a wooded height very distant, 
rose above the river ; at the other, and much 
nearer to her, swept down a point of land, round 
which the waters curved. Still no human figure 
met her view. The soft murmur of the ap- 
proaching tide was soothing, not terrific ; and 
the whole scene was as beautiful as lonely. 

But her conductor hurried her on to a spot 
even more lonely. 

At the usual full tide, the eminence of Dun- 
brody was almost encompassed by water. In 
one direction round its base, the pil, before-men- 
tioned, became the channel of the intruding 
element ; in another, a stretch of flat land lay 
under inundation. When the tide ebbed, this 
last was a swamp, across which, in former 
times, the industrious monks of the monastery 
had constructed a causeway, though few traces 
of the work appear to have triumphed over 
the undermining floods of many generations. 
But the high Gothic archway, to which it led, in 
an outward wall of the building, yet exists ; and 
contiguous to this relique, remote from the main 



300 THE CROPPY. 

pile, and overlooking the swamp, stood, upon 
the night of Eliza Hartley's visit to the spot, 
a little solitary ruin, not more than eight 
paces in length, and half the number in breadth. 
Rudely fashioned swellings of the turf, each 
the tenement of the humble dead of the dis- 
trict, crowded all around it. And humble, 
indeed, must have been the sleepers beneath ; 
for no " storied urn,'' or graceful monument 
arose to record their former state, and to mock 
their unconscious ashes ; not even a rudely- 
chiselled stone bore their names. The sole me- 
mentos that appeared were time-bleached frag- 
ments, taken from the adjacent ruin, and placed 
at the head of some Httle mounds, that, by their 
recollected peculiarity of shape, the relations of 
the last-buried might know whither to convey a 
new comer, to mingle his dust with the kin- 
dred dust below. Nay, even these rude remem- 
brances were very few ; and the numerous and 
carelessly-formed graves crowded together in 
undulating and mingling confusion. 

Within the crumbled walls that stood in the 
midst of this heap of dead, the tripping foot kicked 
up, at every step, from amongst the fallen stones, 
a human relic — so closely had they been piled 
over each other. The noisome hemlock, the 



THE CROPPy. 301 

prickly nettle, and the other tall and rank 
weeds that thrive on the cemetery's fat soil, 
minMed with the loner o;rass that also flourishes 
in its nourishment. Two old ash-trees near at 
hand, and some chance-sown black-thorns, 
shaded this favourite place of sepulture ; and 
alder trees, believed by the Irish peasantry 
to be descendants of that upon which the 
traitor, Judas Iscariot, hanged himself in despair, 
gained, ^vithin and without, a luxuriant growth, 
and farther darkened the solitary spot with 
their loathsome-smellino; foliacre. One of them, 
indeed, once rooted in the end wall farthest 
from the entrance, grew in time to such an 
unwieldy bulk, as to fall across the space en- 
closed by the little ruin, dragging along with 
it the stones between which it had insidiously 
wrought its fibres ; and there still lay the trunk 
of the spoliator, amid the rubbish it had made. 
All around the remaining portions of the in- 
terior, bushes and creeping brambles ran wild ; 
and the ruin-loving ivy, that almost seems de- 
signed to exhibit the ever-green of inferior na- 
ture in contrast with the decay of man's idle 
works, and even with that of his perishable 
body, came from the outside over the top of 
the unroofed walls, hanging in gay festoons 



302 THE CROPPY. 

above the mingled relics of human labour and 
of human being. 

Stumbling amid the various inequalities of the 
ground, Belinda St. John and Ehza Hartley en- 
tered this little silent place of death and deso- 
lation. Often would Eliza have shrunk back, 
but her stern guide still controlled her motions. 
" Sit down there," said Belinda,-r-'* you 
tremble and need rest ;'' and she pointed to the 
fallen trunk of the alder-tree. 

" Why force me to this frightful spot ?*^ in- 
quired Eliza. 

Belinda stood in the centre of the ruin, the 
moon shone upon her emaciated and ashy face, 
glistened over the coal-black hair that hung 
thickly adown her hollow cheeks, and touched 
with dimmed radiance the folds of her funeral 
dress ; and thus standing, elevated to her full 
height, she seemed a figure fitly situated amidst 
the wreck around her. 

" I have brought — forced you here,"" she 
answered, " that you may have your request, 
and that I may keep my promise ; for here — 
ay, in this very churchyard, — ^}^ou are to meet 
him who has played traitor to us both, and whom 
you will hear admit as much before the moon 
goes down."" 



THE CROPPY. 303 

She stepped aside as she uttered these words ; 
the ray of moonlight she had intercepted flowed 
forward and fell in a white shower into the far 
corner of the ruin. She started, fixed her eyes 
upon it, pointed impressively to it, and re- 
sumed. 

" Look there ; that is supernatural ! It lights 
up the very spot where rest two of his victims — 
my broken-hearted mother and my little mur- 
dered innocent. Upon a dark night, my father 
paddled a small boat along the river below, 
and for cargo he had two corses in their coffins. 
Hither he bore them, and rooted among the 
stones to make them the only grave the place 
would allow. Some days after, as I am told, a 
few children playing amongst the graves, saw 
the end of a new coffin that had been but par- 
tially covered with the rubbish, and they ran 
away in terror. But it was even my request 
that the coffins should not be hidden deep. I 
anticipated this night, when I might be able 
to point out the names on the lids. And now 
I will prepare for his coming ;"*' and proceeding 
to the corner she stooped down, catching the 
moonlight upon her back, as she hastily tumbled 
away the stones. 

" Belinda," said Eliza, addressing her in 



304 THE CUOPPY. 

feeble accents, while thus occupied, — "' Belinda, 
you have solemnly promised more than once, 
that this night I should embrace my dear, dear 
father;' 

*' And I promise it again. Had you treated 
all my promises and assertions so as to permit 
of my leaving you in the house, perhaps by 
this time you had been in his arms ; now it 
is not unlikely that he will come to seek you 
here — but, hark !" 

A loud shout from abroad broke the calm 
silence of the night ; Belinda sprung up, strode 
to the narrow entrance, and clapping her hands 
together, gave an answering scream. The daws 
startled in the neighbouring ruin were heard 
clamorously croaking their alarm at the un- 
usual and piercing sound ; and as it echoed 
along the water, the stalking heron of the 
swamp responded in a harsh cry. Belinda has- 
tily returned into the little building. 

" 'Tis he !" she whispered. 

" Who.? my father.?" 

" No, but the man you first wished to meet. 
They bear him hither.'' 

She pointed her finger at the shivering Ehza, 
and slowly moving it up and down, continued 
to address her. 



THE CROPPY. 305 

" And now attend — listen with all your soul 
before you interrupt us." 

Steps and voices were heard approaching — 
they came nearer, Belinda drew back into the 
shade, and two men entered, bearing the seem- 
ingly lifeless body of a third person. 

'' Lay him there," said Belinda, speaking 
from her concealment, as she motioned towards 
the corner in which she had lately been oc- 
cupied. 

" He's upon the hand-gallop for a sthrange 
counthry, goin** to lave Ireland for a while ;' 
said Bill Nale, as he and Shawn-a-Gow rudely 
flung down the body into the nook, where it lay 
partially in the moonshine. 

" Dying, you mean V eagerly questioned Be- 
linda of her wretched father, while she pressed 
forward, — " why is this ?*' 

" None of our fault ; the wounds he got in 
the battle done his business : hurry wid him, 
or he won't wait for you." 

" Leave us together," said Belinda, and her 
ruffian parent moved to quit the ruin. 

The moment they had began to speak, Shawn- 
a-Gow abruptly addressed Eliza by name, and 
thrusting a crumpled paper into her hand, while 
his eyes glared watchfully towards Nale, said, 



306 THE CROPPY. 

*' The moonlight is sthrong enough. Miss Hart- 
ley, to let you run an eye over id, jest to tell 
me what it manes — I can't make out pin-writin' 
myself, bud I know my own name when it*s 
put down on paper, an' I think I saw id there: 
hurry, Miss — I wouldn't ax you, only there's 
life an** death in the business." 

Thus appealed to, Eliza, notwithstanding 
the imminent interest of her own situation, 
read sufficient to allow her to answer — " Yes, 
your name is written here; and it seems a 
letter from some one who expected to find 
pikes at your house — take it — " turning away 
her head, and once more fixing her eyes on 
the corner, where the wounded man still lay 
motionless, while Belinda and her father con- 
tinued their short dialogue. 

" Look at the name at the bottom iv id," 
resumed Shawn, in a deep whisper — " isn't id 
the name o' Whaley ?" — 

" Yes — leave me." 

" An** isn't this name on the cover, William 
Nale, Miss .?" 

'' It is, it is — pray disturb me no farther." 

" I guessed as much," said the smith, talk- 
ing to himself. Nale now made way out of the 
ruin, and he strode after him. 



THE CROPPY". 307 

" There, Shawn,'* said his companion, when 
they had cleared the heap of graves abroad and 
descending towards the wooden bridge that 
crossed the pil — '^ there, he 's brought to his 
long reckonin' at last." 

" So he is," replied Shawn, " an' so it hap- 
pens wid all decavers like him, sooner or later — 
don't you think so. Bill ?" 

" Yes, to be sure, Jack : what the duoul ails 
him ?" he added in a mutter, as he increased his 
speed down the eminence. 

" Stop !" cried Shawn, seizing him by the 
shoulder, and standing still himself, he held 
Nale at arms length with one hand. 

" Are you takin' lave o' your senses. Jack 
Delouchery ? don't you know this is no place 
for stoppin' when we have to — " 

" Don't spake either, only to what I '11 ax 
you," interrupted his captor ; " I found this 
afther you, on the road, this evenin' — what 
is id.?" 

" What is id ? — why a letther, to be sure." 
Nale knew that the smith could not decypher 
writing, and he therefore deemed himself not in 
much danger. 

" I see it's a letther — who wrote id .?" 

" Who wrote id ? — my poor crature iv a 



308 THE CROPPY. 

daughther Jack— she wrote id, an' on the head 
o' this very business, too." 

'* That 's a lie !" thundered the Gow, grasp- 
ing him round the neck with both hands. Nale 
instantly lost the power of uttering a sound. 
Almost instinctively he groped in his bosom. 

" It won't do !*" again roared Shawn, detect- 
ing this movement ; and then he took away one 
of his hands from the ruffian's throat, and made 
himself master of the pistol for which Nale had 
been searching. 

" I '11 build up your house for you,'' gasped 
the half-choaked Nale, in this momentary res- 
pite, "ril— " 

'• An' you daare to be spakin' !" once more 
interrupted his executioner, as he dashed him 
against the ground ; and instantly Shawn's knee 
was on his breast, his left-hand still grasping his 
neck, and his right presenting the pistol. The 
smith had pressed the muzzle to Nale's fore- 
head, and his finger vibrated on the trigger ; 
he checked himself, and withdrew the finger out 
of the guard. 

" No, you're not desarvin' o' the shot" — he 
muttured, turning the weapon in his hand — 
" this way 'ill pay you betther :" he raised the 
pistol, intending to strike Nale on the head with 



THE CROPPY. 309 

its heavy butt ; again, however, he controlled 
himself, and hurling it far into the water be- 
neath — " what am I dhramin' about ?" he re- 
sumed, " it ought to be done no way bud this :"" 
and raising the knee which had already crushed 
Nale's breast-bone, while he continued to kneel 
on the other, Shawn dragged up his writhing 
victim, and placing the back of his neck upon the 
tightened joint, a second time used both his 
hands. 

" Tom, my boy, can you see us ?" were the 
last words John Delouchery uttered over the 
object of his vengeance, while his savage eyes 
watched the upturned face. In the morning, 
Nale's crippled corse was found, not far from 
the pil. The smith might easily have hurled it 
into the deep gully which, about the time he 
had completed his act, was filled by the tide ; 
but it seemed that he scorned to take any 
measures to hide what he had done. 

We return to the ruin. 

For about the space of time occupied by 
this scene, Belinda had remained stationary and 
silent over Sir William Judkin, and Eliza, not 
yet assured that it was the Baronet, sat terrified 
and trembhng on the trunk of the alder-tree. 



310 THE CROPPY. 

Belinda's voice, sounding as if she muttered to 
herself, at length reached our heroine's ear. 

" Yes, — I had him brought here to kill him, 
but not as he now lies at my feet ; not wounded, 
fainting, and already half-dead ; I expected to 
see him struggle against my uplifted hand, and 
he cannot even speak a word to avert the blow." 

Her hollow accents, however, seemed to have 
recalled Sir "William to some sense of his situa- 
tion, for he stirred slightly, and in a feeble, 
broken tone, said — 

" Where am I ? into what savage hands have 
I fallen ? Is there no kind fellow-creature with- 
in call r 

Ehza knew his voice at once, changed as it 
was, and forgetting every thing in a sudden 
swell of pity, started up with clasped hands, and 
was rushing to his side. 

" Back on your peril !" cried Belinda, seizing 
her arm, and almost swinging her back — "yet, 
no ; take his hand, if you can — 'twill recall my 
resolution," she muttered, " take his hand, Eliza 
Hartley." 

" Eliza Hartley !'' screamed the dying man, 
" where is she ?" 

'' I am close by you, William," answered Eliza. 



THE CROPPY. 311 

" And do I touch your innocent hand? do I 
look upon your radiant face ?" 
A deep " hah !" escaped BeHnda. 
" How came we into this place, EHza ? is 
not it amongst the dead they have flung my 
shattered body ? I think my head rests on a 
coffin — yes, and here I am brought to die — 
already I feel the pang at my heart: — EHza, 
hearken to me— you have escaped a wretch — at 
least — " he continued, his mind wavering — " at 
least I thought so, though lately she appeared 
before me, but I admit it must have been 
my fancy — for her head was cleft, ay, and the 
deep water rolled over her," EHza dropped his 
hand — *'ah ! now I am left alone, now you for- 
sake me, Eliza, but had I hved, you would 
have proved my saving angel. For your gentle 
endearments I would have learned to love 
goodness. Belinda made me what I am — her 
fiery passion, her evil nature could neither re- 
claim nor attach me — " 

" Rise, EHza Hartley, or share his fate !" 
cried Belinda, stepping into the moon's ray, so 
that it fully illuminated her features. 

Sir William ceased speaking, his eye glazed, 
yet fixed itself on hers, he strove to rise upon 
his elbow while they regarded each other, but 



312 THE CROPPY. 

the attempt failed, only causing a cry of 
agony. 

" Yes," said Belinda, *' you are among the 
graves ; yes, your head rests upon a coffin." 

" And you !'' he said ; " you rise from the 
bottom of the deep river to meet me here !" 

"No; I escaped your hand. I live to meet 
you here." 

" Then,"' he gasped, " wretch as I am ! I 
will thank a merciful God for that ! — I am not 
in reality a murderer !" 

" You are, although Belinda St. John lives. 
Remember your brother assassin, Brown." 

He uttered a piercing cry. 

" And turn, if you can, one look upon the 
little coffin that supports your head ; your 
murderous blows killed its inmate, ere yet the 
babe saw the light of day."*' 

He endeavoured to obey the command, and 
it seemed as if he vaguely comprehended the 
name on the lid ; for after gazing some time 
upon it, he attempted to join his hands and 
raise his eyes, as if he would pray ; then sinking 
under the effort, his chest and face came with a 
heavy sound against the coffin, and his spread 
arms hung at its sides. 

" And now you begin to know why you are 



THE CROPPy. 313 

brought here," continued Behnda; " I swore over 
that infant's corse, hand-in-hand with my gasp- 
ing mother, who stretches by its side, to kill you 
where you lie — see!" She drew out the long 
blade that Eliza had before seen in her hand. 

" Hold, Belinda ! do not make yourself a 
murderess !" shrieked Eliza, flinging herself 
once more by Sir William. 

" Touch him not, siren ! — brave me not ! Rise 
up and hearken to me ! you and he together !" 

*' Ah !" Eliza shrieked again, " he cannot 
hearken to more ! — He is dead ! — dead since 
he fell upon the coffin!" 

" Dead ?*" repeated Belinda, — " dead, you 
say ?" She knelt, put back his hair, and looked 
into his rigid features. " And so he is; dead, 
and as lowly laid as his poor victims. He was 
a bad and wretched man, Eliza, but beautiful 
as Lucifer. I am glad it happens thus. Had 
he come before me in all his vigorous strength, 
I think I could have kept my oath ; but from 
the moment I saw his crushed and wounded 
body, and heard his low wailing voice, revenge 
left my heart; and when you cried out just now, 
I did not draw the steel to strike it through 
him, Eliza, but only that he might see proof 
of my former purpose. Well, he is gone — he, 

VOL. IIT. p 



314 THE CROPPY. 

whom we both loved ; and he has left one of 
us destroyed and avenged, and the other saved 
and warned. God be more merciful to him 
than we were to each other ! He now stands 
for judgment, with you, my little baby, as his 
accuser." Belinda went on, laying one hand 
on the infant's coffin, while the other passed 
round the neck of the corse : " But do not, do 
not plead loudly against your wretched father ! 
Even for my sake, my babe, kneel at his feet, and 
hold up your angel hands for him to the Great 
Judge. I think he has bribed your advocacy, 
after ail ; — Eliza, did he not seem to die praying 
over the relics of his child ? and when his arms 
fell helplessly down, perhaps" — Belinda's voice 
broke and trembled — " perhaps he would have 
embraced the innocent clay. Nay, what is this ? 
The night-dew, or his tears, upon the lid ? Oh 
God ! oh God ! and did he weep for us at last, 
my infant .^" The unhappy woman found way 
for her own tears — the first shed since her idol 
had forsaken her; and pressing tightly the 
arm that encircled the dead man's neck, she flung 
the other round the coffin, and fell convulsed 
upon it. 

Eliza's anguish was also excessive, when it 
became checked by some one pronouncing lier 



THE CROPPY. 315 

name outside the ruin. She sprang up, a 
man entered the little doorway, and she sank 
into her father's arms. 

Recovering from the swoon that succeeded to 
her long struggling with terror, at last ended 
in joy, she found herself still supported by her 
father at the bottom of the eminence of Dun- 
brody. 

'' Yes, yes ! — now I am not left in doubt !" 
she cried, gazing into his features — ** and you 
are safe from future danger, rny dearest fa- 
ther.'' 

*' Safe, as my letter promised you." 

" And Talbot, then '' 

" Is our common deliverer. 

Eliza glanced around. Her father, under- 
standing her look, resumed — 

*' But he presumes nothing upon his services, 
and therefore I came to seek him alone." 

The good-feeling shown by Talbot, in this 
instance, appealed to EKza as much as did the 
sense of his extraordinary conduct. 

" The wretched Behnda St. John!" she 
resumed, pointing towards the little ruin. 

'' An aged clergyman, a relation of her un- 
happy mother, whom we interested on her ac- 
count, followed me to that horrible place and 



316 THE CROPPY. 

is now at her side ; be tranquil, my Eliza, she 
shall be taken care of; — here comes my servant 
to attend you to the carriage." 



The storm of the insurrection blew away, 
but not so its effects. The people saw their 
error, and politicians hastened to grasp the ad- 
vantages which that error placed under their 
hands. Blood continued to be shed some time 
after the total discomfiture of the peasant-force, 
but at last its flow was allowed to cease, and 
in the pause of terror, and with a face of conci- 
liation, and a promise of advantages which have 
not yet been conceded, the Legislative Union, — 
that measure for which disaffection had been 
permitted to break out into actual disloyalty, 
nay, had often been goaded to the field, — the 
Legislative Union between England and Ireland, 
was accomplished. 

About the same time we have to record ano- 
ther union, which proved happier than the na- 
tional one. In the year 1800, Eliza Hartley 
became the bride of Henry Talbot, and not till 
then could she tutor her heart to return to her 
early affection for her first lover. But even at 
twenty years of age she was better qualified 



THE CROPPY. 317 

than at eighteen she had been to discriminate 
between a passion founded on little else than 
the personal attractions of its object, and a 
more sincere tenderness, bestowed as the re- 
ward of gentle virtues, manly honour and cou- 
rage, and, after all, a face and figure only se- 
cond to the unfortunate Baronet's standard of 
beauty. 

Of Belinda, from the night of Sir William's 
death, her old schoolfellow never heard. It 
was only known, or rather suspected, that the 
aged clergyman immediately conveyed her to a 
foreign country, where perhaps, in the seclu- 
sion of a convent, she learned to triumph at once 
over her passions and her sorrows. The mys- 
tery of her fate became impenetrable, from the 
circumstance of the sudden death of her old 
protector on the Continent, during, as was con- 
jectured, his return, alone, to his own country. 

Shawn-a-Gow fell in one of the unsuccessful 
battles afterwards fought by the insurgents. 

His daughter Kitty and Timothy Reily be- 
came joint proprietors of a snug farm-house on 
the estate of Harry Talbot ; and under its roof 
both sought to give quiet and peace to the poor 
maniac mother, who had witnessed the horrid 
death of her darling son. 



318 THE CROPPy. 

As for Nanny the Knitter, she lived long to 
recount to wondering ears her adventures 
under the lime-tree and in the chest, and to knit 
dozens of pairs of little stockings for five or six 
pairs of little feet appertaining to the persons 
of as many curly-headed prattlers, all bearing 
the name of Talbot. Moreover, the popula- 
tion of her county had been thinned during the 
insurrection, and a consequent necessity arising 
for repairing the v/ant, Nanny became very 
brisk, during many subsequent years, in the 
service of Hymen. 

Father Rourke was hanged upon the bridge 
of Wexford ; the weight of his colossal body 
having broken the rope, however, before Saun- 
ders Smily saw him pending to his heart's 
content. 



THE END. 



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